Registered Nurses – How to Become a Registered Nurse – Career Path

Registered Nurses - How to Become a Registered NurseDo you know that nurses have a bit of reputation in the society? Along with assisting doctors and physicians to apply medications and save lives, they are also involved in the overall patient care system which makes their services always in demand. Love helping people or just like to pursue a career line in the medical field. Why not become a nurse? The career education information presented in this article is meant to help you better understand the meaning of nursing, what they do, the job outlook, employment opportunities and salary expectations and many other circumstances surrounding their practices.

Continue reading

Health Science – Careers in Health Sciences

Careers in Health SciencesHealth sciences encompass a lot of career paths that makes life worth living. Do you often find yourself paying attention to those details that generally facilitate or promote health or are you one of those hygienic individuals that care so much about others and themselves? Why not consider a career path in health sciences? If you don’t know where to start, this article is meant to help you understand what career options are available in health sciences and the factors that should form your criteria while investigating programs and selecting universities or colleges.

Continue reading

How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

Medical Transcriptionists – Career Path as a Medical Transcriptionist

Do you want to become a medical transcriptionist? Or perhaps you have been nurturing the idea of working alongside the medical industry seeking for opportunities to play roles that will save lives and restore hopes in people? Yes, practicing as a medical transcriptionist may just be the best way to step your foot in this field. The work does not involve handling badly injured patients or dealing with life-or-death situations, which is amazing. This article will help you to better understand who medical transcriptionists are, how to become one and the job outlook in the profession.

What Do Medical Transcriptionists Do?

Like the name implies, medical transcriptionists are those workers responsible for transcribing medical reports, correspondence and other administrative materials made by physicians and other healthcare professionals. They are also called medical transcribers and medical stenographers. The recordings they transcribe are generally given them on a special headset designed in such a way that they can be paused with a foot pedal when necessary. The transcriber then writes or keys the text version of the recording into a personal computer or word processor which can be edited at will for grammar, coherence and clarity. The resulting documents from the activities of medical transcriptionists include discharge summaries, history and physical examination reports, operating room reports, consultation reports, autopsy reports, diagnostic imaging studies and referral letters which are made part of patient’s permanent files after being reviewed, corrected and signed by the dictator.

However, just like every other profession out there, the medical field is filled with several terminologies and jargons which doctors, physician and other healthcare professional use often to interpret different situations. Hence a career as a medical transcriptionist entails a good understanding of these terminologies including other important medical practice areas like anatomy, and physiology, diagnostic procedures and treatment. They should also be familiar with the various abbreviations used in this field as these will not only make them employable but facilitate their work. Generally, transcriptionists refer to standard medical reference materials which come both in printed and electronic forms to help them better identify and understand terms more properly. It is also important that transcriptionists always follow the technological trends in the medical industry as these often influence their line of work. For instance, it is more likely these days for medical transcriptionists to receive dictation from a digital or analog equipment and with the emergency of the internet, most recording can be sent through the internet and the transcriptionist will be depended upon to turn out a piece that can be used for treatment and other patient treatment procedures. With regards to technology, transcriptionists working in more specialized arrangements like radiology or pathology may have high chances of working with a speech recognition technology. However, this is expected to widespread as the medical technology becomes more sophisticated.

These are not the only duties a medical transcriptionist may be assigned. Depending on the employer and experience, a medical transcriptionist can assume several other roles – mainly office and clinic duties. For instance, those working in physicians’ offices and clinics may also be involved with several other office duties like receiving patients, scheduling appointments, answering the telephone and handling incoming and outgoing mails. Sometimes or in some office settings, medical secretaries may also be trusted with transcribing roles.

Working Conditions

Medical transcriptionists can work in variety of facilities including hospitals, physicians offices, clinics, laboratories, medical libraries, government medical facilities or even from a home-based office as employees or sub-contractors for hospitals and transcription services or even as self-employed independent contractors. The only issue many people have with this profession is sitting for long hours which can initiate wrist, neck, back or eye problems due to strain. There is also the risk of repetitive motion injuries like carpel tunnel syndrome. This is not meant to discourage you though, but to make you device a working strategy that can reduce the risk and observe the safety rules at work. Like most other professions, you may be required to work the 40-week as a medical transcriptionist. However, self-employed transcriptionists can work irregular hours which may include part time, evenings, weekends or on-call basis.

In the year 2000, it was recorded that the medical transcribing profession held about 102,000 jobs the majority of which were in hospitals and physicians’ offices and clinics. However, there are still several employment opportunities emerging in other establishments including laboratories, colleges and universities, transcription services and temporary help agencies.

How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

Completion of a post-secondary certificate program or obtaining an associate degree is often the pre-requisite for entry into this profession. Not that this is mandatory but over the years, employers have grown to prefer those who have this basic formal trainings as offered in vocational schools, community colleges and distance-learning programs. The courses are meant to acquaint the students with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge of what their job entails. The courses include coursework in anatomy, medical terminology, medicolegal issues and English grammar and punctuation some which are delivered with supervised on-the-job experience.

After the formal program, it is advised that you get certified by a recognized body, like the American Association for Medical Transcription, AAMT. This body grants the Certified Medical Transcriptionist, CMT at the pass of written and practical examinations. In order to maintain this certification, it is required that all Medical Transcriptionists update their skills to be timely competent by earning continuing education credits.

Salary

This is one of the factors that will keep you motivated with your work. In the year 2000, medical transcriptions earned about $8 to $16 per hour depending on their qualification. Also, transcriptionists earned differently across different employment settings like offices and clinics of medical doctors, hospitals and mailing, reproduction and stenographic services and many others.

Other Related Occupations

Just enjoy typing, recording information and processing paper work but don’t like a career path in medical transcribing? Don’t worry, there are other occupations that can allow you to do what you enjoy doing which include court reporter, secretaries and administrative assistants, and receptionists and information clerks. You can also work as a human resource assistant, medical assistant if you still fancy a career in the medical field or as a medical records and health information technician.

Posted by Tessy Parker

Respiratory Therapists – Career in Science

Respiratory Therapists – Career Path

Respiratory therapists are one of those occupations with evident need in the society. They are responsible for evaluating, treating and caring for patients with breathing disorders. Think this is an occupation you’d like to join? The career education information provided in this article will help you to understand what respiratory therapists do in details, how to become one, the employment opportunities available and the job outlooks in the field and many other aspects of the occupation.

What do Respiratory Therapists do?

Respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians, also called respiratory care practitioners, are those medical experts who evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing difficulties. The work of therapists may include all primary respiratory care treatments, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians whose work entail following well defined care procedure to provide assistant and care services to patients according to the direction and under the supervision of therapists or physicians. However, in some work settings, the roles of therapist and technicians overlap, hence for the rest of this article we will refer to both as therapists.

The works of respiratory therapists include testing the capacity of the lungs of patients and analyzing oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration. They are responsible for measuring the acidity or alkalinity level of patient’s blood. After such testing and analytical procedures, therapists deduce whether there is a lung deficiency or any other respiratory mal-operation when compared with the patient’s age, height, weight and sex. Their practice is not also limited to a certain age group or population as they treat all sexes and age groups. They can effectively handle infants with under-developed lungs and or adults with diseased lungs. They are also trained to provide reliable health care services to those with chronic asthma or emphysema, including heart attack, stroke, drowning and shock victims.

Respiratory therapists work with certain materials like oxygen or oxygen mixtures, chest physiotherapy and aerosol medications. They are also responsible for connecting ventilators which deliver pressurized oxygen in the lungs of patients who cannot breathe on their own. In this case, they often keep a close check on the instrument and the patient to monitor any change that may occur with the oxygen, carbon dioxide or PH level of the blood in which case they will change the ventilator setting as directed by the doctor. If the service is an outpatient care or in home care services, respiratory therapists are responsible for teaching and showing patients and their families how to use ventilators and other life support equipments while visiting to monitor the performance of the machine and the response of patients. This practice may help to restore a patient’s lung and is also necessary for those suffering from lung diseases like cystic fibrosis – the cause of mucus collection in the lungs.

Respiratory therapists also provide patients with aerosols which are those liquid medications suspended in a gas to form a mist that is inhaled by patients. Their role also entails teaching patients how to inhale aerosol the right way for it to be effective. Depending on the work setting, you may also find respiratory therapists performing roles that fall outside their traditional roles like those related to cardiopulmonary procedures -electrocardiodiagrms and stress testing. They may also be entrusted with drawing blood samples from patients and keeping records of materials used and charges to the hospital.

Working Condition

Respiration therapists mainly work in hospitals and thus work about 35 to 40 hours a week. Depending on the work settings, they may also be required to work evenings, nights or weekends including holidays in some special cases. Owing to the nature of work, some people see that occupation as being strenuous. They stand on their feet and work around most of the time. They also work with a few hazardous materials like gases stored under pressure. However, there are safety precautions and regular maintenance and testing guidelines that must be followed to ensure optimum safety. Treating patients with infections and those with contagious diseases is also a source of risk for respiratory therapists. To minimize this risk also, therapist must carefully follow proper procedures.

Many people have been successful practicing as respiratory therapists over the years. In 2000, this occupation recorded about 110,000 jobs most of which were in hospitals working in departments like respiratory care, anesthesiology or pulmonary medicine. They also work in respiratory therapy clinics, offices of physicians, nursing homes, and firms that deal with respiratory equipment supplies.

How to Become a Respiratory Therapist

Formal education is, of course required before one can get registered and practice as a registered respiratory therapist. Formal programs are delivered from the post-secondary level and can be taken in medical schools, colleges and universities, trade schools, vocational-technical institutes and the Armed Forces. Depending on the length of the formal training, the degree also varies ranging from associate’s degree to bachelor’s degree. There are also some shorter programs through which one can be granted an entry-certificate. The major difference between the two, however, is that while those with associate or bachelor’s degree are certified as Registered Respiratory Therapists, those that went through the shorter programs are Certified Respiratory Therapists.

Formal respiratory programs include courses like human anatomy, and physiology, chemistry, physics, microbiology and mathematics. Depending on the State you may want to practice, you may be required to get a license. There are also rooms for voluntary certifications like those offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, NBRC for graduates of CoARC-accredited programs. However, if you are still in the high school with interest in this occupation, subjects that will increase your admission chances are health, biology, mathematics, chemistry and physics.

Salary

The median annual salary of registered therapists in the year 2000 was $37,680. However, some earned as high as $50,660 while few were at the bottom of the leather at $28,620. Technicians also held an interesting salary scale with median annual earnings of $32,860 in 2000.  The highest of this group were at $46,800.

Alternative Occupations

If you don’t really like entering the medical profession as a respiratory therapist or perhaps just searching to get hold of other related occupations, other similar occupations include registered nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists and radiation therapists.

Posted by Tessy Parker

Clinical Laboratory Technicians-Career in Science

Becoming A Clinical Laboratory Technologist Or Technician

Ever wanted to work in a laboratory as a technologist or a technician? Want to be involved in clinical laboratory works; detecting and treating diseases and making the world a better place, but wondering what career paths awaits you? Clinical laboratory activity is an interesting one with viable career paths for practitioners.

What Do Clinical Laboratory Technologists or Technicians Do?

Clinical laboratory is more of testing activities aimed at detecting, diagnosing and treating diseases. These are normally done by examining and analyzing body fluids, tissues and cells. Their work also entails searching for bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms, analyzing the chemical content of fluids, matching blood for transfusion and finding out how a patient is responding to treatment by testing drug levels in the person’s blood. Clinical laboratory workers are also responsible for preparing and examining specimens, count cells and finding abnormal cells. Wondering how they do all these? Yes, these activities are less hands-on and more analytical through the use of automated equipment and instruments that can handle two or more tests at a time. Among these equipments and instruments are microscopes, cell counters and other sophisticated laboratory tools. Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians are only involved in testing specimens, analyzing the result and relaying the result to physicians who are in more direct contact with patients and thus administer all treatments. Generally, the work load, the complexity of tests performed, and the amount of responsibility placed on each laboratory worker depends on the person’s education and experience in the industry.

Technologist or Technician

It is good you know that medical and clinical laboratory technologists do not assume the same role with technicians. Technologists are generally welcomed into the profession with a bachelor’s degree in medical technology or in any of the life science courses. They can also have a combination of formal training and work experience which in most cases is an added advantage. These are the experts that handle complex chemical, biological, hematological, immunologic, microscopic and bacteriological tests. They are responsible for examining blood, body tissue and other body substances through microscopic means. Sometimes, they are required to make cultures of fluid and tissue with the provided fluid samples in order to determine the presence of bacteria, fungi, parasites or any other microorganism. Their work also entails analyzing samples for chemical content or reaction and determining blood glucose and cholesterol levels including matching blood samples for transfusion.

Technologists can assume different roles which sometimes depend on the place they are working. For instance, those working in small laboratories can assume several roles while those that practice in a relatively large laboratory tend to specialize. With regards to this specialization, you can either become a clinical chemistry technologist who are those that prepare specimens and analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids, the Microbiology technologists that examine and identify bacteria and other microorganisms, or the Blood bank technologists or Immunohematology technologists that collect, type and prepare blood and components for transfusions. There are also the Immunology technologists whose work entails examining the human immune system to determine how it responds to foreign bodies. Alongside that are Cytotechnologists that prepare slides of body cells and examine them microscopically for abnormalities which may indicate the growth of harmful organisms like cancer. Finally, there are the Molecular biology technologists that handle complex genetic testing on cell samples.

On the other hand, medical and clinical laboratory technicians don’t generally assume such complex tasks as technologists. They usually work under the supervision of technologists or laboratory managers. Their work may include specimen preparation and operating automated analyzers. In large laboratories, technicians tend to specialize, as in Histology technicians who cut and stain tissue specimens before microscopic examination by pathologists. There are also the Phlebotomists whose work involves collecting blood samples.

How Do Clinical Laboratory Technologist And Technicians Work?

Depending on the laboratory and type of employment, clinical laboratory personnel are often require to work in either regular shifts like morning, evening or night or in rotational shifts. Their works may also require that they are present on weekend and especially during emergencies. For instance, those that found themselves in large laboratories may work day, evening or night shifts, including weekends and some holidays depending on the work load.

As a challenge, clinical laboratory technologists and technicians may spend a great deal of their working time on their feet, including working with infectious specimens. Hence it is necessary that they observe the infection control and sterilization methods including the use of masks, gloves and goggles.

Employability

The employment opportunities for Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians recorded about 295,000 jobs in the year 2000. The primary employer for this profession is the public and private hospitals with more jobs erupting in medical laboratories, offices and clinics of physicians.

How to Become a Clinical Laboratory Technologist or Technician

To become a clinical laboratory technologist, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in medical technology or in one of the related life sciences. Programs leading to this certification can be obtained from universities or hospitals. However, those that took a combination of education, on-the-job training for this career path can also be taken.

On the other hand, medical and clinic laboratory technicians require an associate’s degree which can be obtained from a community or junior college or a certificate from a hospital certifying a satisfactory completion of the programs necessary for a career as a lab technician. This can also be offered by vocational, technical schools or the U.S Armed Forces. There are also some technicians that learn their skills on the job but this is becoming really unpopular these days.

Earnings

A career path in medical and clinical laboratory holds an interesting salary expectation which is expected to be on the increase as the need for their services increases. In 2000, no worker in this field earned below $18,000, with some technologists earning as a high as $55,000 per annum. Also, the salary scale in this industry may be different across various employment facilities like hospitals, colleges and universities, office and clinics, medical and dental laboratories and health and allied health services.

Other Related Occupations

Not so interested in answering a medical or clinical laboratory technologist or technician but still have the zeal to pursue a career path along side this practices? Other related occupations for consideration include chemists and material scientists, science technicians, and veterinary technologists, technicians and assistants.

Posted by Tessy Parker

Medical Assistant Career

Medical Assistants – Career Paths

Do you enjoy administrative duties and office works? Want to work in a medical office where you can assist in saving lives and restoring lost hopes? A career path as a medical assistant will afford you the opportunity to live your dream life. This article is meant to provide you with the information you need to make a more informed decision about this profession as regards what they do, what it takes to become a medical assistant, employment opportunities, working conditions and salary expectations.

What Do Medical Assistants Do?

Yes, delving into any occupation should start from knowing what their role looks like. Generally, medical assistants are involved in performing those office administrative and clinical tasks for physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and optometrists. However, this should not be confused with physician assistants who are responsible for examining, diagnosing and treating patients with the guidance and direction of physicians. Also, medical assistants may assume a variety of roles depending on the office they work and with regards to its location, size and specialty of the assistant. For instance, those working in small establishments or offices may be required to handle all administrative and clinical duties and reporting straight to their managers. Those working in relatively large establishments may specialize in a particular practice and thus supervised by the department administrators where the person is working.

On a general note, if you want a career path in this field, you may be required to take various office administration task and clinical duties including answering phone calls, welcoming patients, assessing and filing appropriate records about patients, attending to insurance forms, correspondence and appointments, attending to hospital admission and laboratory services and handling billing and bookkeeping. However, in some States, the clinical duties that can be scheduled for medical assistants are being regulated by the State law and must be adhered to.

Depending on the employer, experience and qualification of the medical assistant, he may also be required to arrange examining room instruments and equipment, purchase and maintain supplies and equipment and keep waiting and examining rooms very neat and clean. Specializing in a particular area as a medical assistant may also attract more responsibilities which may lead to salary increment in some working environments. For instance, a Podiatric medical assistant may also assume the role of making castings of feet, exposing and developing x-rays and assisting podiatrists during surgery. Ophthalmic medical assistants work beside ophthalmologists while providing medical eye care services. They also conduct diagnostic tests, measure and record vision and test the normal operation of the eye. When patients are given contact lenses or any other correctional glasses, it is also the ophthalmic medical assistants that are responsible for showing patients how to insert, remove and care for these glasses and lenses.

In some working conditions, and depending on the experience of the assistant, they may also be required to administer eye medications under the supervision or guidance of the physician. Generally, the ophthalmic medical assistants are responsible for maintaining optical and surgical instruments and can also work beside ophthalmologists in surgery.

Working Conditions

Like many other working conditions, medical assistants generally work the regular 40-hour week in a well lighted and clean environment. Their work entails consistently interaction with patients and hence they must have the courage to tolerate others, and the zeal to help people. With regards to the 9-5 daily work, they may also work part-time, evenings or weekends depending on the work load and or nature of the tasks at hand.

Medical assistants are one of the highly sort-for skills in the medical industry. In the year 2000, they held up to 329,000 jobs the majority of which were in physicians’ offices and hospitals. As a medical assistant, you can also work in in-patient and out-patient facilities, nursing homes, and offices of other health practitioners and health care facilities.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

Pursuing a career path as a medical assistant should start with a formal education which is now what most employers prefer. These programs are offered in vocational-technical high schools, postsecondary vocational schools, community and junior colleges, including colleges and universities. Going through postsecondary school programs takes a year and will lead to the award of a certificate or diploma while a 2 years course will earn you an associate degree. The courses covered in formal programs include anatomy, physiology and medical terminology, including those relating to typing, transcription, record keeping, accounting and insurance processing. Students may also be taught laboratory techniques, clinical and diagnostic procedures, and pharmaceutical principles, medical administration and first aid practices. In relation to office works and practices, they are also taught patient relations, medical law and ethics. A recognized formal programs leading to a medical assistant often include internship designed to provide students with the practical experience that will lay the foundation for their operation in the field which may take place in physicians’ offices, hospitals or other healthcare facilities.

While most employers prefer medical assistant that graduated from formal training, there are still those that gained their experience and skills through on-the-job training after high school. Preferably, high school students that did well in science and administrative related subjects like mathematics, health, biology, and typing, bookkeeping, computer and office skills are given great preference. While there is no specified licensing for medical assistants, some States may require them to take certain tests or courses before they can be allowed to perform certain tasks like taking x-rays which requires not only the theoretical knowledge but also the experience.

Salary

Medical assistant are paid based on their experience, skill level, location and employer. However this shouldn’t scare you as a career path in the field holds various financial benefits. For instance, in the year 2000, medical assistants receive between $16,000 to $28,000 per a year distributed according to the employer like offices and clinics of medical doctors, hospitals, health and allied services, offices of osteopathic physicians and offices of other health practitioners.

Other Related Occupations

Want to help save lives or just enjoy standing beside physicians and doctors but don’t like the idea of becoming a medical assistant? There are several other occupations that will grant you the opportunity to enjoy what you really like doing. Among these are dental assistants, medical records and health information technicians, medical secretaries, occupational therapist assistants and aides, pharmacy aides and physical therapist assistants and aides.

Posted by Tessy Parker

Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

About Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

Wondering what might be the difference between speech-language pathologists and audiologists? What do they actually do? What is the job outlook in this field? How can you become one? And what are the salary expectations in this field? The answers to these questions and more are contained in the career education information presented in this article.

What do Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists do?

Like you may have guessed, speech-language pathologists assume different tasks compared to audiologists. Pathologists are the ones that assess, diagnose, treat and help in the prevention of speech, language, cognitive, communication, voice, swallowing, fluency and many other related disorders. On the other hand, audiologists are concerned with the identification, assessing and managing auditory, balance and other neural systems.

Specifically, speech-language pathologists work with individuals with speaking difficulties specially those that cannot make speech sounds, or whose sounds are not clear. Hence they generally work with those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, those that can’t produce understandable speech, those that wish they can do better with their speech skills, and those that have certain communication impairments relating to attention, memory or problem solving disorders. In some cases, they also work with those experiencing some difficulty swallowing or eating.

How bad is this problem? You may ask. Well, speech problems has reportedly led to variety of problems including hearing loss, brain injury or deterioration, cerebral palsy, stroke, cleft palate, voice pathology, mental retardation or emotional difficulties. To help these patients, pathologists use either written or oral tests including specialized instruments to diagnose and record facts about the problem with which an effective treatment procedure can be devised. They are also responsible for keeping the appropriate records about the initial evaluation, progress and discharge of their clients which forms part of the medical history of patients and can assist in pinpointing problems, tracking client progress and in justifying the cost of treatment. They also provide the necessary counseling service to the patient and families aimed at educating them on communication disorders and the best way to cope with the stress and misunderstandings that may result from it.

On the other hand, speech-language audiologists are those experts that work with people experiencing hearing, balancing and related problems. They work with several instruments like audiometers, computers and other testing devices with which they test the individuals’ response to sounds like the loudness at which they begin to hear sound, when they can distinguish between sounds, and thus determine the extent of the hearing loss or damage. With the results of these tests, audiologists can coordinate them with the person’s educational and psychological information in order to diagnose and determine the most appropriate treatment to use. These experts may work in audiology clinics or as part of an interdisciplinary professional team where they help in planning and implementing service delivery for children and adults. They also keep records of their evaluation, progress and discharge of clients which help in pinpointing problems, tracking clients’ progress and justifying cost of treatment.

Working Condition

Working as a speech-language pathologist and audiologist is not physically demanding but require intense attention to details. Pathologists or audiologists may work full time on a 40-hour per week setting or part-time. There are also those that work on a contract basis and may take working positions and various facilities the arrangement of which requires some chunk of time for travels between these facilities.

In 2000, speech-language pathologists and audiologists held about 101,000 jobs most of which were in preschools, elementary and secondary schools, or colleges and universities. There were also evident employment in offices of physicians, hospitals and hearing centers, home health agencies and several other related facilities. Specifically, pathologists have high chances of gaining employment in school settings while audiologists are more likely to be employed in healthcare facilities.

How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist and or Audiologist

Most States require all speech-language pathologists and audiologists to have a master’s degree or equivalent before they can be licensed to practice. They may also be required to have about 300 to 375 hours of supervised clinical experience. Most licensure has some kind of renewal requirements most of which is continuing education. You can therefore get graduate programs in speech-language pathology from colleges and universities covering courses like anatomy and physiology especially about those body parts involved in speech production, language and hearing. Graduates are therefore acquitted with the necessary skills they need to evaluate and treat speech, language and hearing disorders.

Other certifications that are available in this field include the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) which is granted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for pathologists and the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) for audiologists.  One of the requirements of earning this certification includes a degree and some supervised clinical experience. However, from 2012, audiologists seeking certification should first earn a doctoral degree.

Salary

The career path in speech-language pathologist and or audiologist holds an interesting salary structure. For instance, in 2000, the median annual earnings of Speech-language pathologists were $46,640. Yes this number was affected by a lot of factors including the place of employment. For instance, those in hospitals earned around $49,960; those working in office of other health practitioners earned about $47,170 while those in elementary and secondary schools earned about $43,710. The job outlook for the career path in this profession holds really a promising financial reward for those with advanced degrees and qualification. For instance, speech-language pathologists and audiologists with doctorate degrees who worked the full 122 to 12 months earned about $60,000 to $70,000 annually in 2000.

Related Occupation

Don’t want to be a speech-language pathologist or audiologist but still want an occupation that will offer you the opportunity to help others? Want an occupation that will allow you to help diagnose, identify and treat people in order to help them overcome their life challenges and improve their overall liveliness. Among such occupations are occupational therapists, optometrists, physical therapists, psychologists, recreational therapists and rehabilitation counselors. The career paths and how you can formally and legally enter into practicing in any of these professions are also available on this site.

Posted by Tessy Parker

Occupational Therapists – Career Path

Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists help clients to have an improved life that does not only increase their productivity but help to neutralize any occupational challenges they might be facing. If you have the zeal to help others improve their lives, harmonize their professional lives to suit their needs and thus improve their lifestyle, you will do well as an occupational therapist. This article is meant to present you with the right information about this occupation concerning what they do, how to become one, the job outlook in the field, salary expectations and a whole lot others.

What Do Occupational Therapists Do?

Occupational therapists generally assume the role of helping individuals to have independent, productive and satisfying lives. Their works are basically with clients that have some special conditions like those with mental, physical, developmental or emotional difficulties. Working with these individuals, they help them to bounce back to normal reasoning, in order to be able to live independently while helping them to improve basic motor functions and reasoning. They are also brought in cases of individuals with permanent loss of function where their role is to restore hope in the person and teach them how they can still lead a normal life.

Occupational therapists may use different formats and exercises to help clients depending on the person’s case. In most cases, the basic activities include how to use a computer, daily need activities like how to dress normally, how to cook and eat and many others. If the client’s need to regain some strength, physical exercises may be chosen which will also increase dexterity? Additionally, pencil and paper exercises are mostly used to improve visual acuity and confidence in discerning patterns. In application, clients with memory loss issues may be asked to make lists which will help them to remember. Those with coordination issues may be encouraged to do exercises to help their hand-eye coordination. In this computer age, they can also leverage the benefits of some computer programs to help improve client’s decision making, abstract reasoning, problem solving and perceptual skills including memory, sequencing and coordination which are necessary for an active and satisfactory lifestyle. They are also responsible for bringing adaptive equipments for clients with permanent functional disabilities like those with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. To these people, therapists bring adaptive equipments like wheelchairs, splints and easting and drinking aides while instructing them on how to use these equipments. They are also responsible for designing or making any special equipment or computer program that can assist clients in one way or the other. For instance, they can develop computer-aided adaptive equipment while teaching their clients how to use them. The aim of these equipments is to enable clients to live more independently and to control other aspects of their environment.

With regards to specialties, industrial therapists are responsible for treating individuals with some impairment at their work place. Basically, they restore hope in these individuals; encourage the development of their other skills in cases where a major part of their body has been permanently damaged. They also arrange for employment and monitor their progress. Occupational therapist generally assumes different roles in various employment facilities. In schools they assess the challenges each child is going through and help them to adjust in order to participate as fully as possible in the progress and activities. They can also work specifically with the elderly ones to regain a more productive, active and independent live. This may require that they develop variety of methods including the use of adaptive equipment. When found in mental health settings, they are responsible for handling patients with mentally related illness including those that may be mentally retarded or emotionally disturbed. To do this, they often use programs and activities that will help the individual to lead a more productive life like time managing skills, budgeting, shopping, homemaking and how to use public transportation. It does not stop there, there work may also include working with those whose positivity and self-esteem have been shattered like those dealing with alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, eating disorders  or any other disorder related to stress. While administering all these corrective services, they are also responsible for recording a client’s activities and their program which are necessary for evaluating clients, billing and reporting to physicians or any other professional that may be of some help in severe cases.

Working Condition

As an occupational therapist, expect to work the normal 40-hour week which may include extra time for meetings if you are employed in a school. Otherwise those working in hospitals are mostly at the 8-hour a day job depending on the work arrangement. Majority of the employed therapists though, work on part-time basis. Additionally, therapist stand on their feet most of their working time in large rehabilitation centers and may work in a room fitted with machines and different equipment some of which may generate loud noise. Those working in home healthcare services may have to drive from one home to another thereby facing other risks. This is not meant to discourage you though, but to get you informed of the challenges you may have in this career path. However, in some work settings and especially due to the rising healthcare costs, it has become really necessary that occupational therapists take assistants and aides.

With regards to employment in this field, occupational therapists held about 78,000 jobs in the year 2000 most of which were in the hospitals, including rehabilitation and psychiatric hospitals. With the increasing demand for healthcare services, other employment opportunities are seriously opening up in offices and clinics of occupational therapists and many other healthcare facilities, schools, home health agencies, nursing homes, community mental heal centers, adult daycare programs, job training services and even residential care facilities.

How to Become an Occupational Therapist

If you want to practice in this filed, you are required to complete a bachelor’s degree program in occupational therapy. Additionally, most States regulate practice of therapist and thus grant license, the criteria of which includes a pass in a national certification exam and a bachelor’s degree. Passing this exam will also entitle you to the award of a registered occupational therapist. The program involves a class work which spans across learning physics, biology, and behavioral sciences including a 6 month of supervised fieldwork. If you are still in the high school, pay attention to courses like biology, chemistry, physics, health, art and the social sciences all of which will improve your chances of getting admission in the college.

Salary

Occupational therapists have different annual earnings depending on where they are employed. In 2000, the median annual earning recorded were $49,450 with some earnings as high as $51,220 in nursing and personal care facilities, $50,430 in hospitals, $49,520 in offices of other healthcare practitioners and $45,340 in elementary and secondary schools.

Other Related Occupations

If you don’t like to become an occupational therapist but still want to help individuals to maximize the productivity of their daily lives, similar occupations to consider include chiropractor, physical therapist, recreational therapist, rehabilitation counselor, respiratory therapist and even speech-language pathologist an audiologist.

 Posted by Tessy Parker

Occupational Health & Safety Specialists

Career Paths

Want a career as a health and safety specialist or just looking for an occupation that can offer you the opportunity to help others? This article contains the information you need to make a more informed decision about becoming an occupational health and safety specialist or technician. Here, you will learn more about what these specialists/technicians do, how to become one and the type of jobs that are available, including some insights on the employment opportunities, legal terms and rules biding their practices, and salary expectations.

Who is an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist or Technician?

Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians are those responsible for ensuring worker health and safety in organizations and other work environments. Also called occupational health and safety inspectors and industrial hygienists, these specialists and technicians are entrusted with the role of making sure that the work environment is safe and that workers are in good health. Depending on the establishment, specialists can assume the roles of analyzing work environments and designing programs that facilitate the control, elimination and prevention of diseases and injury which are commonly caused by chemical, physical, biological agents and ergonomic factors. The technicians are more concerned with sourcing the right data for this process. Specialists are also responsible for conducting inspections and making sure that workers adhere to law, regulations, employment policies and other worker health and safety stipulations. When supervised by specialists, technicians can also help in the implementation and evaluation of these programs and processes.

Additionally, occupational health and safety specialists ensure a smooth and safe running of the establishment through a wide range of roles which include inspecting and testing machinery and equipments like lifting devices, machine shields and even scaffolding. They are also responsible for ensuring that the protective tools and equipment are in good condition and used correctly. These tools include masks, respirators, safety glasses, or safety helmet and others.

Generally, occupational health and safety specialists and technicians are also responsible for identifying hazardous conditions and practices in the work place. They are also the people that device strategies with which potential hazards can be predicted and avoided, owing to their experience, historical data and other valuable information the technicians may collect. They are also responsible for studying and identifying hazards in existing or future systems, equipments, product facilities or processes while determining the probability and amount of accident that may result. Their findings, after reviewing the major causes of hazards in an establishment can also be used to improve the working conditions and safety rules. While devising a method with high success rate, they also access the result of their implementation for future references.

If eventually there is an accident, it is also their duty to investigate the circumstances surrounding such occurrence like the various unsafe working conditions, the causes of the accident, and thus recommend remedial methods based on their findings. Some also proceed to provide rehabilitation sessions for workers after accidents to make sure that they are fit to return to work.

Working Conditions

As an occupational health and safety specialist or technician, you may be required to work irregular hours depending on the nature of things in your place of work. Most of these specialists work in the field which may also involve some travels and working with different individuals. To this end, the work may be a bit stressful, unpleasant and dangerous – to some extent. For instance, if you become a health and safety inspector, you may be required to work in same conditions as employees thereby being exposed to the life and hazardous risks they are facing. While this may sound a bit ugly, it is also the only way of ensuring their safety by observing every detail that might help promote safety standards. When the safety rules are religiously observed, there will be minimal to no hazard!

Employment Records in the Field

The employment opportunity in this industry is also interesting as they reportedly held about 35,000 jobs in the year 2000. Majority of these were in government offices. Besides the federal, state and local government jobs, there are still other employment opportunities in the private sector, including schools, hospitals, management and consulting firms, public utilities and manufacturing firms.

How to Become an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist or Technician

It takes a 4-year college degree in safety or a related field to gain an entry into this profession. The program involves a combination of classroom and on-the-job training. If you are still in the high school with some interest in this profession, pay special attention to subjects like English, Chemistry, Biology and Physics as a good understanding of these will help lay the foundation for a successful career in health and safety practices.

There are also few voluntary certifications; the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential, granted by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) credential, granted by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). There is also a joint certification offered by both BCSP and ABIH called Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST), credential. This certification is easier to obtain and only requires an examination once other formal education credentials have been obtained. In order to stay certified, specialists and technicians are required to periodically take recertification exams. While these are voluntary, it is advised you get certified as certified specialists and technicians are given preferential consideration by employers.

Job Outlook

As the public awakes to the need to provide practical safety measures to keep both workers and equipments safe, which is necessary to improve production and decrease expenses, the employment opportunities in this industry are expected to grow beyond those offered in government offices to touch other firms and establishments. Fortunately, getting a job as an occupational health and safety specialist or technician does not depend on economic situations – rather, it is something that most companies look forward to help reduce expenses and increase productivity by minimizing the rate of accidents in their work force.

Salary

The median salary earned by occupational health and safety specialists and technicians in 2000 were $42,000, with some earning as high as $67,000 per annum. The salary expectation in this industry, however, depends on the place of employment. For instance those working in private firms tend to receive more generous benefits.

Other Related Occupations

Don’t like occupational health and safety specialists and technicians but want a similar career path? Other occupations related to this includes agricultural inspectors, construction and building inspectors, correctional officers, financial examiners, fore inspectors, police and detectives and transportation inspectors.

Posted by Tessy Parker