National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP)
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About NAAP
Founded by Activity Professionals
for Activity Professionals...

NAAP is the only national group that
represents activity professionals in geriatric
settings exclusively. NAAP serves as a
catalyst for both professional and personal
growth and has come to be recognized by
government officials as the voice of the
activity profession on national issues
concerning long-term care facilities,
retirement living, assisted living, adult day
services, and senior citizen centers. NAAP
is nationwide in scope with a growing
membership in Canada and Bermuda.

The National Association of Activity
Professionals recognizes the following

The quality of life of the
client/resident/participant/patient served is
the primary reason for our services.

The strength of NAAP lies in the diversity of
its members.  NAAP recognizes the rich
cultural, and educational backgrounds of its
members and values the variety of
resources represented.

The strength of NAAP also lies in the
development and promotion of scientific
research which further defines and supports
the activity profession.

NAAP values the development and
maintenance of coalitions with
organizations whose mission is similar to
that of NAAP's for the purposes of
advocacy, research, education, and
promotion of activity services and activity

NAAP values members who become
involved at the state and national level to
promote professional standards as well as
encourage employers to recognize them as

NAAP affords Activity Professionals across
the country the opportunity to speak with a
common voice...

NAAP successfully worked with members of
Congress to secure a change in the nursing
home reform title of the 1987 Omnibus
Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA).
Through our efforts, it became mandatory
that an activity program, directed by a
qualified professional, be provided in every
nursing home that receives Medicare
and/or Medicaid funds.

NAAP was the only professional activity
association to participate in HCFA's
workgroups that revised OBRA's interpretive
guidelines now in effect.

NAAP provides assistance at the state level
to promote certification of activity
professionals, working toward uniform
professional standards for activity practice.
NAAP Mission
To provide excellence
in support services to
activity professionals
through education,
advocacy, technical
assistance, promotion of
standards, fostering of
research, and peer and
industry relations.
There are so many benefits when you
belong to NAAP!  Each member will
receive a newsletter which will give the
updated reports on Government Relations,
Special Interests, International Updates,
Professional Development, Nominations,
Standards of Practice, Financial Updates
and a Membership Report. Along with this
comes an update from our President, Diane
Mockbee, and our Executive Director,
Charles Taylor.

Members will also receive a discounted rate
at the Annual Conference which is held in
March/April of each year.

Effective JAN 1, 2006 membership dues are:
  • Active Membership = $75 USD
  • Associate Membership = $65 USD
  • International Membership (outside
    US) = $65 USD
  • Student Membership = $55 USD
  • Supportive Membership = $99 USD

Email us for more information at

Join Now!
Click Here to Download a
Membership Application
National Association of Activity
P.O. Box 5530
Sevierville, TN 37864
phone (865) 429-0717        
fax (865) 453-9914        


PLEASE NOTE: Any opinion, advice,
statements, offers or other information or
contents expressed or made herein by third
parties is neither endorsed nor adopted by
the National Association of Activity
Professionals unless otherwise stated. NAAP
is neither responsible for nor warrants the
accuracy or reliability of any such opinion,
advice, information or statement made or
offered by third parties in this publication
(website). NAAP has the right, but not the
obligation, to monitor and review the
content that it feels violates the terms of its
understanding with the third party: violates
the policies and purposes of NAAP; or is
defamatory or otherwise deemed


PLEASE NOTE: The articles set forth in this
publication are for informational purposes
only. Nothing contained herein shall be
construed as legal advice. The statements
made herein are those of the respective
authors and are not necessarily an
expression of the views of NAAP.
Establish a Professional Image
Brenda Scott, ADC
NAAP Special Needs Liaison/Education Outreach Trustee

First, see yourself as a professional! If you can’t see yourself as a professional how do
you expect others to see you.  Let’s start at the beginning.  

How do you greet people? Hand shaking---In medieval times, when two people shook
hands, it was a sign of sincerity and meant that neither had “anything up their sleeves.”  
When one extended a hand, the sleeve was pulled up to expose any hidden objects. In
the United States, handshaking has become a basic formality. The appropriate form of
greeting or farewell is a handshake.  Both men and women should stand when
shaking hands.  Always shake hands with the right hand. Never ignore someone who
has offered to shake your hand.  You want to make the other person feel relaxed and
comfortable in your presence.  Smile and watch you body language. It is appropriate to
ask how the other person would like to be known and addressed. Use their name as it
will help you remember them.

How’s your phone etiquette? Answering machines and voice mail need special
attention. Answer the phone with a smile, pleasant greeting and your full name. When
leaving messages to a person…be brief, but include your full name, the number where
you can be reached and a suggested time to return your call. Speak clearly and slowly.
Nothing is more maddening than having a message where you can’t understand the
name and/or number. When setting up your voice mail system make your
announcement is short. Simply say that you are unable to answer the call and ask the
caller to leave a message. There is no need apologize that you are not answering the
phone. On business, calls ignore call waiting.  If it is an important call you are
expecting, answer it after stating, I’m sorry, I must take this call.  Be brief and get right
back to the original caller.  End your call with “good bye” not “bye, bye” or just “bye”.

Meetings and appointments are critical for demonstrating professionalism. Be on time
for all meetings and appointments…even early if possible. If it is a meeting you are
conducting, provide the participants with an advance copy of the agenda. If the meeting
is small or last minute…summarize the agenda at the beginning of the meeting.   
Always greet the attendees and if necessary make introductions.  Make sure your
meeting room has all the supplies needed. Start on time! If the meeting is going to run
an hour or more think about having a snack or drink available. If you
are called into a supervisor’s office never sit until invited.

Nonverbal communication consists of a person’s body langue, dress and other
unspoken factors that combine to form an important component of one’s professional
image.  You create your own image by the way you stand, the way you dress and the
way you respond to others.  A person with poor posture, keeps arms and legs close to
the body and avoids eye contact is usually perceived by others as lacking self-
confidence.  Relax, stand erect and have good eye contact.

Today, the written word is carried by a variety of “vehicles”. We use computers,
modems, fax machines, e-mail all to correspond.  No matter what method, you choose
to communicate will create either a positive or negative impression. E –mail still needs
to be proper English, capitols, and proper punctuation and complete sentences.  Use
facility stationary for letters and references, have someone else edit your work.   Use
proper headings and closures.  Avoid slang terms.   Signature is comprised of your
signature with the name typed underneath.  If you have a professional designation,
indicate it after your last name where your name is typed.  Use a business envelope
when sending letters or proposals. Write thank you notes by hand, they are still very
much appreciated by the receiver.

As anything else your business cards says a lot about you and your organization. If your
association or facility does not provide them, you can get blank cards at the office
supply store and make your own. It is really very easy.

What does your office look like? Being able to keep your office neat and tidy seems to
be a challenge for most Activity Professionals. Determine what needs to be on your
desk and find a place out of sight for other things.  It is perfectly alright to have family
pictures around, it shows a balanced life.  Any degrees, certifications and honors
should be proudly displayed in your office.  Keep a current file of any thank you notes,
letters of recommendation, and a notebook of your successful events are all good idea
as well.  You must maintain a professional library- resources for learning. Be willing to
share your information with your peers and staff.

As mentioned earlier your body language can speak volumes. A list of some of the
most common mistakes are:
        Too much eye contact. Don’t stare regardless of what you see.
        You avoid looking in the eye while making conversation.
        Don’t be a pencil tapper.
        Crossing and uncrossing your legs while sitting. Do not shift from one leg to the
other while standing.
        Don’t bury your hands in your pockets
        Crossing your arms and keeping them close to your body indicates you are not
         Keep from sighing frequently.
        Don’t simply nod your head in agreement. Speak

Dress for success and the key is to dress appropriately! Look at the total “package” you
are displaying.  Is your hair neat-looking kept out of your face? Wear only one hair
ornament.  Your office makeup should be discreet, less is better-earth tones are best.  
You can always freshen your makeup just before meeting family members and
vendors. Keep basic items at work for quick touch ups for the late day meetings or
evening meetings and functions.  How many times do we work all day preparing for a
big family function and want to look fresh?
Finger nails should be well manicured and reasonable length and no “weird” colored
polish. Nail polish should be subtle, light tones.    

Dresses and suits should be stylish but not trendy-no shorter than directly above the
knee. Shiny, clingy knits, sheer fabrics are not acceptable. Ill-fitting clothing-especially
too small are a taboo.  Watch those necklines, no cleavage should be shown in the
office. (Remember the generation you are working with.)   Slacks are appropriate if the
style is correct. Your accessories should match: belts, shoes and handbag.  Speaking
of shoes, no more than two and half inches are appropriate.  Black patent leather can
be worn year round, taupe, bone and navy shoes may also be worn year round.  Red
and bright colors are not appropriate for office and business days. High boots?  Go
ahead and wear them to work in cold snowing weather, but change for the office.  No
tennis shoes----unless you are an Activity Professional running all day! They must be
clean and neat.  Keep a pair at work and change for meetings and appointments. Nylon
hose should be worn at all times.  Jewelry should be worn sparingly, three rings max-
no dangle ear rings.           

One last word, fragrances can be over powering. Use sparingly as many people have

Some information for this article came from The Polished Professional-How to Put Your
Best Foot Forward.  By Elizabeth Haas Fountain.