NYC HHC Careers

NYC Health + Hospitals

Activity Therapist 

About NYC Health + Hospitals

Elmhurst Hospital Center (EHC) is the major tertiary care provider in the borough of Queens. The hospital is comprised of 545 beds and is a Level I Trauma Center, an Emergency Heart Care Station and a 911 Receiving Hospital. It is the premiere health care organization for key areas such as Surgery, Cardiology, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Rehabilitation Medicine, Renal and Mental Health Services.

At NYC Health + Hospitals, our mission is to deliver high quality care health services, without exception. Every employee takes a person-centered approach that exemplifies the ICARE values (Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence) through empathic communication and partnerships between all persons.

Job Description

The position’s primary function is providing creative arts therapy to our patients and staff utilizing a specific approach of working collaboratively with a dog that will provide a minimum of twenty ours a week of therapy. The animal’s (dog) welling and training and handling will be the primary responsibility of the Activity Therapist. Thus, animal (dog) will taken home and come to work with Activity Therapist.

Under the general supervision of Coordinating Manager, Creative Art/Activity Services, he or she may plan, direct, coordinate, and/or monitor an animal assisted therapy program for an assigned area/unit of a hospital or health care facility including mental hygiene services. In addition, to performing tasks described in Assignment Level I, II, III, he/she may also represent the Division on various Departmental Subcommittees.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • May plan, organize, supervise and implement Activity Program Services including animal assisted therapy services from an assigned psychiatric unit or program within the Department of Psychiatry and within the hospital setting, both inpatient/outpatient.
  • Co-ordinates and monitors on-going performances of overall or specific sections of the treatment plan related to activity therapy, specifically, animal assisted therapy.
  • Provides leadership, guidance and clinical supervision, orientation and training to subordinate Activity Therapy and support staff, volunteers, students and other staff as designated by the Director of Creative Arts/Activity Services.
  • Helps staff to recognize and deal with problems relating to patients, staff, or ward routines, assists staff in recognizing own assets and to effectively use these assets and resources in their work with patients.
  • Ensures that Activity Therapy treatment plans and progress notes are completed and current for patients and for assessing the quality of each patient’s evaluation. Ensures that animal assisted therapy is included in treatment plans as well as notes.
  • May participate in formulating patient treatment plans as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Maintains communication with other disciplines and services.
  • Attends and contributes to departmental meetings and facility-wide training programs.
  • Participates in overall planning of a Therapeutic Animal Assisted program for Psychiatry/Hospital.
  • Maintains communication with community recreational resources and researches programs for patient’s referrals (post-discharge).
  • Explores new developments within the field of Activity Therapy and works with staff in implementation of those applicable to their setting for reevaluation of ongoing programs. Applies new techniques and skills in a continuing effort to provide effective treatment modalities.
  • May select and order supplies and equipment and maintain functional operational level of equipment, supplies and work area.
  • Performs other duties as determined by the Director, Creative Arts/Activity Services.

Minimum Qualifications

Assignment Level I
1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college including or supplemented by 18 credits in recreation, physical education, dance, fine arts, applied arts (including therapy) and 12 credits in psychology, social psychology, group work, group dynamics and/or related field; or
2. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college and one year of full-time experience in planning, coordinating and supervising a recreation activities program in a hospital, health care or related facility; or
3. A satisfactory combination of education and/or experience equivalent to 1 or 2 above. However, all candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree.
Assignment Level II
In addition to meeting the requirements for Assignment Level I, Assignment Level II requires:
1. One year of full-time experience as described in two (2) above.
Assignment Level III
In addition to meeting the requirements for Assignment Levels I, Assignment Level III requires:
1. Three years of full-time experience as described in two (2) above.

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