Activity Therapist

Department:Behavioral Health

Immediate Supervisor:Director of Behavioral Health

Position Status:FT

Hours per week:40



Job Title:         Activity Therapist                                                      Hours: FT 40 Shift: 7a-3:30p   


Department:  Behavioral Health                              Immediate Supervisor:  Director Behavioral Health


Job Summary:

The Activity Therapist (AT) coordinates the recreation, stress management, leisure planning and activity groups for the in-patient unit. The Activity Therapist is responsible for completing assessment and conducting activity therapy groups as well as documenting patient progress in progress notes.  The Activity Therapist also participates in Treatment Team and PI (Performance Improvement) Committee meetings, and serves as the unit’s liaison to the hospital’s Rehabilitation Department.




Possesses a Bachelor’s in Art, Music, Therapeutic Recreation, Physical Education, Home Economics or other creative discipline, or an Associate’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. Valid Illinois licensure or discipline specific certification.


One year of experience in activity therapy services in a psychiatric, mental health, nursing home or related setting preferred. Certification and a trainer in CPI or a similar aggression management program is desirable.


Employee with necessary education or experience will be expected to exhibit reasonable proficiency within six months. Maintains  AHA BLS for Healthcare  CPR certification.  AHA BLS CPR certification  must be obtained prior to working on the Behavioral Health unit.  Maintains “Handle with Care” annually.  “Handle with Care” must be completed prior to working on the Behavioral Health Unit.

Job Knowledge:          

Knowledge of the role, responsibilities and accepted standards of practice for the  activity therapist as regulated by professional and governmental agencies.  Follows both hospital and departmental  policies and procedures including the role of the activity therapist in the smooth                          operation of hospital and departmental  functions and chain of command.  Knowledge  of the theory and application of evaluative and therapeutic techniques, exercise and  modalities for adult and geriatric populations. The Activity Therapist must demonstrate  knowledge of the principles of growth and development over the life span and possess the ability to assess data reflective of patient's status and interpret the appropriate information needed to identify  each patient's requirements relative to his or her age-specific needs, and to provide the care needed by the patient group.  Proficient knowledge and navigation of hospital computer system.


Performance Requirements:

Responsibility For:

Organizes, plans and conducts the therapeutic activities program. Provides  activity therapy assessments, written treatment and discharge plans in coordination with the overall treatment                          objectives for patients.  Plans and conducts daily activity therapy group sessions and educational programs, with individual sessions as needed, in accordance with the interdisciplinary treatment plan and daily  priorities of patients and needs of the unit.  Assists in the maintenance of a safe   and therapeutic milieu.  Attends and  participates in designated treatment team meetings on all matters concerning the patient and/or family.  Completes routine paperwork within prescribed time frames and efficiently documents on individual progress  notes all pertinent and meaningful  observations and information.  Adheres to the general expectations for all employees in order that the program functions in an effective manner to meet the treatment needs of patients.  Maintain assignments in HealthStream punctually.

Physical Demands: 

Moderate to heavy physical activity. Frequent sitting, standing, sit to stand, walking, bending, climbing stairs and reaching maneuvers.  Good vision, hearing, smell, touch and fine motor dexterity.  Must  be able to lift 25-50 pounds of weight in charts and supplies.  Must be able to drive  short and long distances.

Special Demands:

Verbal communications clear and understandable. Capable of working under high levels of stress.  Ability to work cooperatively in a management and team approach.  Strong leadership skills.  Ability to promote a positive public image with the Behavioral Health Unit, Harrisburg Medical Center, external agencies, and the community.  Work hours are flexible, depending upon program needs.  Weekend hours may be required.  Maintains email correspondence.


Representative Functions:                                                                Percentage of Time


  1. Activity therapy assessments, treatment and

            discharge planning.     20%


  1. Documentation of services provided. 25%


  1. Interaction with patient. 55%