Recreation Therapist
Department Of Veterans Affairs - Cleveland, OH

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VacancyID: 821777

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs employees who possess the energy, compassion, and commitment to serve those who served our Country. Whatever the job title, every position in VA will give you a chance to make a meaningful and personal contribution to the lives of truly special and deserving people - our Veterans. Working for VA is one of the most emotionally satisfying and professionally rewarding ways to dedicate the best within you to your Country's service.

If you are transitioning from the military or a Veteran already, we invite you to explore the benefits of continuing your career at the VA. The VA is committed to hiring Veterans .

The VA is much more than just another employer. It is an honorable, open and welcoming community of those who care. Gratitude is our motivation and service is our mission.

The VA has adopted Core Values and Characteristics that apply universally across the Department. The five Core Values define “who we are,” our culture, and how we care for Veterans, their families and other beneficiaries. The Values are I ntegrity, C ommitment, A dvocacy, R espect and E xcellence (“ I CARE ”).

America's Veterans need you!

To find out more, go to .


You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job.

You will be subject to a background/suitability investigation.

NOTE: This is a TERM appointment (not-to-exceed 1 year and 1 day). Term appointments are non-status, non-permanent appointments of limited duration. Term employees are eligible to earn leave and generally have the same benefits as permanent employees including health and life insurance, within-grade increases and Federal Employees Retirement System and Thrift Savings Plan coverage. Term appointments may be extended without further competition.

This position is located in the Recreation Therapy Service of the VA Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio (Wade Park Division). As a Recreation Therapist, you will be responsible for developing, organizing, and implementing Recreation Therapy, Creative Arts Therapy and other interventions to provide therapeutic treatment, non-therapeutic programs/activities, and self-directed creative arts and recreation therapy services to ambulatory and non-ambulatory adult and geriatric patients with disabilities. Duties of this position include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Plans a treatment program of diverse therapy activities for the patient population using appropriate strategies, modalities, and interventions to meet the needs and interests of patients who are physically, cognitively, psychologically, emotionally, and/or socially dysfunctional;
• Assembles pre-evaluation data, interprets medical record information, reviews therapy prescriptions, and performs and documents complex assignments, treatment plans, and evaluations;
• Employs therapeutic objectives which may require unconventional approaches due to the complex medical, physical, behavioral and/or mental deficits of the patient;
• Administers recreation therapy treatment modalities for patients with mental health, substance abuse, and addiction issues.
• Teaches independent living and social interaction skills, coping skills, pre-vocational or work adjustment skills, mobility exercises, and cognitive retraining;
• Prepares initial, follow-up, and discharge notes;
• Coordinates the overall treatment plans with treatment team and patient's family/caregiver to provide a program focusing on treatment goals.
Work Schedule : Monday-Friday, Full-Time, 8am - 4:30pm


To apply for this position, you must have the following qualifications:


A Bachelor’s Degree or higher degree in recreational therapy or in a creative arts therapy field (art therapy, dance therapy, music therapy, or psychodrama); or a major in an appropriate subject-matter field with therapeutic emphasis or concentration. (You must include a copy of your transcripts with your application package for verification of this requirement).

In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), No person shall serve in direct patient care positions unless they are proficient in basic written and spoken English. You must be proficient in basic written and spoken English in order to meet the requirements of this position.
In addition to meeting the basic requirements above, you must have specialized experience and/or directly related education as described below.

Candidates must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level in Federal Service.
Specialized experience is defined as experience that has provided you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of a Recreation Therapist. Examples of this experience include: Experience applying theories, principles, practices and procedures related to Recreation Therapy and developing and implementing treatment programs; applying knowledge of the concepts, principles, and practices of recreational therapy and involves the use of therapeutic approaches, either to maintain the physical and/or mental health or to achieve the physical and/or mental rehabilitation of persons.
NOTE: Experience in activities or programs that did not require application of a knowledge of the concepts, principles, and practices of recreational therapy or one of the creative arts therapy specializations covered by this standard, and that did not involve the use of therapeutic approaches to maintain the physical and/or mental health or to achieve the physical and/or mental rehabilitation of persons (e.g., Outdoor Recreation Specialist, Commercial Recreation Leader, Vocational Counselor, or other diversionary-type recreation specialist positions) IS NOT QUALIFYING.

A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Completion of two and one/half years of graduate study leading to a Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) in recreational therapy or in a creative arts therapy field (art therapy, dance therapy, music therapy, or psychodrama); or a major in an appropriate subject-matter field with therapeutic emphasis or concentration may be used as substitution for experience. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university.
NOTE : One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that number cannot be obtained from the school; 18 semester hours should be considered an academic year of graduate study. Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended.

Combinations of successfully completed graduate education and experience may be used to meet total qualification requirements.

A Quality Ranking Factor has been requested by the facility to help determine which of the basically qualified applicants are likely to be better qualified for a position. The quality ranking factor for this position is:
“I possess a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) certificate.”
Quality Ranking Factors are skills, knowledge, abilities and other work characteristics which could be expected to result in superior performance on the job. Quality ranking factors will not be used for screening, but may be used as ranking criteria. Applicants with higher proficiency levels may rank above those with lower proficiency levels on a quality ranking factor.

In addition to the requirements above, will be rated on the following Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other characteristics (KSAOs) as part of the assessment questionnaire for this position:
1. Ability to plan, organize and coordinate a variety of recreation therapy interventions/modalities for individuals to meet multiple complex needs and treatment objectives.
2. Ability to evaluate the degree to which specific therapeutic activities and overall recreation therapy services are meeting therapeutic goals and objectives.
3. Ability to communicate orally with people that have varying levels of cognition and mental handicaps.
4. Ability to communicate clearly and concisely in writing with other professionals, the general public, and to clearly document patient records.
5. Ability to identify the physical and psychological problems, limitations, and needs of mentally ill and/or physically disabled patients and apply the appropriate recreation modalities in treatment to fit those needs.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: The work of this position requires regular and recurring physical exertion such as standing or walking for prolonged periods of time; frequent bending, reaching, stooping, and stretching to set up and take apart equipment and apparatus; lifting and repositioning patients; handling wheelchairs, and pushing or pulling heavy objects. The work may require specific physical characteristics and abilities such as above-average dexterity to perform intricate therapy procedures. At times, there may be heavy lifting due to unforeseen circumstances such as preventing a patient from falling. Dexterity and skill in safe machinery techniques are required. Work assignments may involve working in warm water and in high air temperatures positioning severely disable patients, assisting patients in transfers, and/or ambulation. Work of the position requires lifting, handling, and operating various supplies and equipment and pushing patients in wheelchairs on level and incline ground.

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at .

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).

APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Please refer to this checklist to ensure proper accreditation and for foreign education requirements.

Veteran's Preference:
When applying for Federal jobs, eligible veterans should claim preference on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section provided and provide a legible copy of DD-214(s) showing all dates of service as well as character of service (honorable, general, etc.). Additionally, veterans with service-connected disability of 10% or more must also submit a copy of their official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying their service-connected disability and/or their receipt of compensation for service-connected disability. If the military member is within 120 days of separation and does not yet have a DD214, the member may instead submit any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed.

Veterans with service-connected disability of less than 10%, non service-connected disability, and Purple Heart recipients, as-well-as those claiming derived preference for a spouse, widow or widower, or natural mother, should refer to and submit a completed " SF15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference ," (go to ) and required documentation with your application materials. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit .

Applicants will be ranked based on four quality groups, as follows:

Best qualified - applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are highly proficient in all requirements of the job and can perform effectively in the position;

Highly qualified - applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in most of the requirements of the job;

Well qualified - applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in some, but not all, of the requirements of the job; and

Qualified - applicants possessing experience and/or education that meets the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors.

After the vacancy announcement closes, reviewed applications are evaluated against the questionnaire responses and placed in the appropriate quality group. Qualified veterans will be afforded preference by being placed at the top of the appropriate quality group. Qualifying veterans with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be placed at the top of the best qualified group. The best qualified group is the first to be referred to the hiring facility for further consideration and possible interview. The remaining groups may be referred based on the number of applicants available.

VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered: .

The Federal Government has special appointing authorities for persons with qualifying disabilities (go to ). For additional information on these, and other special appointing authorities, refer to this checklist or contact the hiring Human Resources Management Service at: 10701 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified (have a final rating of 85 or more) for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at .

VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

You may be required to serve a probationary period. - 23 months ago - save job - copy to clipboard
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The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is...