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How to get Certified as a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist

Career News October 22, 2015

If you are a physical therapist, you can easily become a cardiac rehabilitation specialist by completing an examination in cardiovascular and pulmonary care studies. However, the following details can show you if there is any need to fulfill the necessary requirements and join this profession or if you should just stick to your current profession.

Career Overview of a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist

Experience is the most important factor that is considered before someone can be allowed to join this profession. Usually, the certificate is just the single requirement to ensure that you are fully qualified to practice as a pulmonary or cardiovascular rehabilitation specialist. The certification process is done by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).

The certification takes some time before it is over. First of all, all applicants are required to submit their application forms before July each year besides paying a certain amount of money as fees. After the payment, each applicant is required to complete a predetermined amount of clinical hours, show their current licensure material and finally pass an examination.

As we had mentioned above, one can only join this profession if you have been legally practicing as a physical therapist in the U.S. The minimum experience required is at least 500 hours of working experience as a cardiac and pulmonary patients’ care giver prior to applying for certification in this new profession. Besides this, you should have at least 1,500 more hours of working experience as a physical therapist in general.

If you attend a cardiac rehab specialist program, which is very important before joining this profession, you are likely to learn how to do basic tests, measures and conduct evidence based practices. Something else that may help you get certified faster is by participating in a cardiovascular research program, then prove that you actually participated in this research by way of writing or at least have a current certificate in Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

Certification Process

Before you get certified by the necessary body (ABPTS), you must pass a test based on the following categories:

•Evaluation
•Interventions
•History taking and system review
•Foundational, clinical and behavioral science

Job Opportunities in this Career and Remuneration

The average salary for a physical therapist, according to recent findings by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is $83,940. On the other hand, job opportunities for physical therapists are likely to grow at a much higher rate than most other jobs, at a rate of 36%, over the next few years. The massive growth is being attributed to the increase in demand for their services by the high number of people getting affected by strokes and heart illnesses every year.

Furthering your Education

To maintain your job as a cardiac physical therapist, you have to re-apply for a certificate every ten years and besides this, you have to complete a certain number of clinical hours. Finally, you may lose your job if you don’t submit a professional growth portfolio or do an examination when reapplying for certification.

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