Activity Professionals Striving for
Credibility, or Are We?
is a question I have asked myself over the course of the past
six months. As we strive to be recognized as the dedicated,
hard working activity professionals we are, it becomes increasingly
evident that little will be accomplished until we take credibility
for ourselves. Through my experience reviewing renewal applications
for the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals
(NCCAP), the following three issues come quickly to mind:
Regulations vary from state to state regarding who is considered
qualified to lead the activity program. We all must become more
involved in lobbying for state regulations by voicing our concerns
to individual state legislators so that legislation specifically
mandating qualifications requirements will be passed. We cannot
remain complacent and assume someone else will fight the fight
for us as we have done in the past. Rather, each one of us can
make a difference. A consistent approach to state surveys needs
to be addressed, as do other issues too numerous to list.
On the national level, we must become even more vocal in having
our concerns heard and addressed. To ensure we are accountable
in providing an activity program that meets the individual needs
and interests of our residents, more stringent guidelines for
activity director qualifications must be established, and we
must take a more realistic approach to section "N"
of the MDS. We have a golden opportunity now that we have a
Senate Majority leader who is not only a doctor, but who claims
to know the health care system. Here is our chance to demonstrate
how important yet overlooked our profession really is.
As activity professionals, we must be credible for ourselves
and adhere to our own professional standards through NCCAP,
NAAP, and state associations. We all are aware of the necessary
criteria for renewing various certifications. If we cannot be
timely in reading and following the simple directions without
continually making excuses, how can we be credible?
integrity of our profession is at risk. We can make a difference
if we all work together. The time to do something about it is