Students in the Field

Leisure, youth and human services students travel to Mayo Clinic's Saint Marys Hospital

January 22, 2018. -- This past fall, 15 leisure, youth and human services majors with an interest in therapeutic recreation (TR) were fortunate enough to spend a full day learning how certified therapeutic recreation specialists (CTRS) at Mayo Clinic's Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester use leisure experiences and resources to foster healing.

CTRS staff working in physical medicine and rehabilitation explained how they serve patients with different health conditions and disabilities like stroke and head trauma, and how a task/activity analysis is used to structure adaptations related to community reintegration.

A CTRS working in psychiatry described therapeutic recreation services offered to clients with various mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, and how recreation-based activities can help with mood regulation.

Leisure, youth and human services students visit Mayo ClinicFinally, a CTRS working in hospice care shared about TR programs and interventions like bibliotherapy that are used to help children and family members living with someone who has a terminal illness.

Saint Marys is one of only a few hospitals in the U.S. with a community/recreation-based library that offers a wide range of leisure activities like beginning knitting lessons, Xbox and board games, and a large selection of books, DVDs and music. Students toured the space and heard about how TR professionals utilize its resources.

UNI students also enjoyed a tour of various parks, gardens and leisure sites used for healing at Saint Marys and learned about how the original Mayo doctors were advocates of community parks from the founding days of the hospital.

Catelyn Graham, senior LYHS major, said about the trip, “I believe by being able to go to Mayo Clinic, a world renowned medical center, we were provided a unique opportunity to broaden our scope of therapeutic recreation. I enjoyed being able to get a glimpse of the various recreational services offered within different areas of the hospital and being able to communicate with professionals about the field of therapeutic recreation.”

Mayo Clinic was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as No. 1 on the 2017-18 Best Hospitals Honor Roll.