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Hamilton Health Sciences Home
August 25, 2016

Introducing… a recreation therapist

Laura Bosch is a recreation therapist at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH). She has been at WLMH for eight years.

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Favourite colour: blue / book: recipe books / vacation spot: anywhere with a beach / music: anything but country / animal: my Rottie /food: anything BBQ / holiday: Christmas

What made you enter your field of work?
I didn’t really know about the TR profession until I was in university for Kinesiology and had to complete a volunteer placement. I chose to do it at WLMH in the physiotherapy department and during this placement, discovered the recreation therapy field. I knew from that moment I wanted to learn more about recreation therapy as a possible career path

“I have learned over the years that flexibility is key with my job”

What does a typical day look like for you?
One of the first things I do when I arrive to work is to put on a good CD.  This gets the energy flowing on the ward and I find it helps to create a positive work environment.  Once the patients are awake and ready, I usually put on a pot of coffee or tea while we chat about how they’re feeling, current events, or anything else they may enjoy talking about.  If the morning is quiet, I’ll do some program planning, complete my stats, or work on my monthly activity calendars. At around 10:00 a.m. I start my morning group program (table games, church services, baking, cognitive activities), which ends just before lunch.  After their and my lunch is over and depending on the day, I will do more program planning, see new patients, complete assessments, and/or work 1:1 with patients that are available or who need extra attention.  At 3:00 I start my afternoon group program, which consists of a seated exercise group three times per week, music programs, pet therapy or theme parties.  I have learned over the years that flexibility is key with my job, and you have to be able to adapt plans and programs depending on the patients you have, their moods and their likes/dislikes.  This is partly what I love about my job – every day is different, the patients are always changing, and you have to be able to just go with the flow

What do you love most about your job?
I love connecting with the patients and their families. This job allows me the time to get to know the patients on a more personal level, not just from a medical standpoint. I thoroughly enjoying hearing their life stories, experiences, their struggles and their successes.

What are the hardest days for you as a recreation therapist?
By far the hardest days at work are the days that we lose a patient. I tend to become quite close to patients and their families, so losing someone is incredibly difficult.

What are your favourite ways to spend your free time?
I love being outdoors. Whether it be soaking up the sun, taking the dog for a walk, having drinks on a patio or watching a TFC game, as long as I’m outside I’m happy! When the weather isn’t so cooperating I enjoy being in the kitchen, cruising pinterest for new recipe ideas and relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine.

“They usually tell me how lucky I am and that they’re envious of all the fun activities I get to do with the patients.”

What do you eat to keep you energized at work?
I always need a little ‘pick-me-up’ at around 2:30 p.m. before my afternoon group program. Often times I’ll have a protein shake or bar. But other days I just need some chocolate to keep me going!

When you tell people what you do, how do they usually react?
They usually tell me how lucky I am and that they’re envious of all the fun activities I get to do with the patients. Of course I agree, but as with any job you have those incredibly stressful days as well. Fortunately I have way more good than bad!

What are your career goals?
I thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing at the moment. Down the road I have thought about becoming more involved with the TR College programs in the area, and maybe doing some casual teaching.

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