National Association of Activity Professionals
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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, Susan
Rauch and Executive Director Irene 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 = $59 USD
  • Associate Membership = $65 USD
  • International Membership (outside
    US) = $65 USD
  • Student Membership = $49 USD
  • Supportive Membership = $99 USD

Email us for more information at

Join Now!
Click Here to Download a
Membership Application
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.
Smile—What Goes Around
Comes Back Around!
Linda Tucker, ADC, CDP
Brian Center, Columbia, SC

I have said a thousand times that a smile goes a long way in winning friends and
influencing enemies. I know I had to have gotten the quote from someone else, but it
has been ingrained in my mind for the past thirty years, since I first heard it said.
I have always worked in a service-oriented environment, so the nursing home was no
different for me.  My job has always been to serve people with a smile---residents,
family members , and staff. Did I say staff!! Yes I did! One of the most important lessons
that you can learn is to serve your team workers, just as you would serve your residents
and family members.

You are a team in each facility. No team has ever won anything by one person doing it
all. It is a concerted effort by all the players. Each player has a part to perform, but
sometimes he may need to step up and help someone else with their part, or ask for
help with his part.

I played volleyball for several years, and many times during games the ball was in
questionable territory (there was a fine line between my territory and someone else’s),
and I had to make the decision to go for it or let someone else make the hit. Sometimes
the ball would definitely be in my territorial space, but would be just a little too high, and
I was grateful when someone taller stepped up and took the hit for me. I may not have
been the best player on the volleyball team, but I always knew that I was an important
part of the team.

It is the same at your workplace as it is on the volleyball court. Sometimes in order to
make the hit you may have to have help, or you may have to help someone else make
their hit.  As an Activity Professional, you are an important part of your facility team.  You
must be willing to help others if you want others to help you. You will need to go the
extra mile sometimes to help with staff morale and excitement.

Smiling is the first step toward winning people’s confidence and friendship. No one
wants to work with a negative thinking grouch, and it is hard to be a grouch if someone
gives you a big smile everyday. It will help promote a positive attitude in you and others.
It is said that a smile costs the giver or the receiver nothing, but is worth its weight in

You, as Activity Professionals are not locked into one area of the facility all day as are
some nursing, dietary, or environmental workers. You have the freedom to roam the
halls, performing one to one, small group, and large group activities.

As you walk the halls each day, you should pick up on the signs when a team worker
needs help. Take for instance, the CNA having difficulty getting the wandering resident
to sit and have her nails clipped--you could sit and converse with the resident for a few
minutes while the CNA does her job.  The laundry worker with a stack of laundry, taller
than she is—you could offer to fold some of the clothes for five minutes.  The floor tech
trying to clean up a large spill, while at the same time directing traffic around it. You
could direct the traffic for him. The nursing station telephone that needs answering
while meds are passed and the CNAs are busy giving care—you could answer the
phone for five to ten minutes and redirect calls.  The dietary snack cart that needs
manning for the afternoon snacks, and the team worker who usually mans the snack
cart had to go home sick—you could man the cart and give out the snacks for twenty to
thirty minutes. The resident call light that needs to be answered—sometimes the
resident wants or needs things that you, as Activity Professionals, can do for them. The
receptionist who may need a break from the phone for a while—you could offer to
answer the phone for ten minutes. The family member who may need reassurance or
consoling—you could help them understand the process their loved one is going
through, or how to cope with a difficult situation.

There are so many times you could help someone else that would only take a few
minutes of your time. Maybe then your team workers wouldn’t mind helping you with
transporting residents to activities, setting up tables and chairs for your activities,
preparing some activity food or special event food,  donating, donating cake and ice
cream for the birthday party, helping with special activities and events, decorating the
halls they work on for holidays or donating bingo prizes.

Team workers, residents, and family members do all of these things for me regularly. If
you gripe and complain about what your team workers aren’t doing for you, they
probably will never do anything for you. If you help out on their end, let them know how
much you appreciate what they do, and ask in a non-threatening manner for their help,
you will see results on your end. I often say, about my Activity Assistant, Melissa, that her
picture should be under the word team worker in the dictionary. She is so very good to
help others, and her team workers all love her for being a good team player.

Be sure to have incentive programs for team workers. Give out small goody bags at
each new employee orientation, and also when you know a team worker has gone
above and beyond the call of duty to help a resident, family member, or another team
worker. Even a certificate that says, “You Have Been Caught Doing Something Nice”
with their name on it, is a great way to make team workers feel appreciated. Have
special door prizes for team workers on facility theme days or holidays. Include your
team workers who do help you in on parties and special treats prepared for activities.
Always order enough handouts for theme days so team workers, as well as residents,
have a gift. Let’s face it-- everyone has times when they feel they are not fully
appreciated for what they do in their facility. You should lift someone else up for what
they have done, which in turn lifts you up also, and don’t brood about what a team
worker has not done, or for a lack of appreciation for what you have done. You will find in
the long run that you “can’t out get the give.”

Remember time is everyone’s most precious commodity. You will never have any more
time added to your day, so you must make the best of the time you have each day. Time
spent helping others will never be considered wasted. You will make it up when their
help comes back around your way.

You need to be a part of your facility orientation program for new employees. New
employee orientation is a perfect opportunity to tell new team workers how you are
willing to help them, and to let them know what they can do to help you and the
residents in activities.

You will always have the “staff member” (did you notice I didn’t say “team worker”) on
occasion who refuses to help anyone, but you will also have the team workers who with
your smile, encouragement, and praise, will help with almost anything you need.
I think the lessons everyone learned as children still ring true, it is better to give than to
receive, but in giving you usually receive much more than you originally gave. Everyone
loves a cheerful giver. If you are a cheerful giver your team workers will love you and
offer to help you on a daily basis.

So go out there and help others with a smile and a cheerful heart, then watch what
goes around come back around in your facility. You may be amazed. It’s certainly worth
a try!