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Education Needs of a Prospective Rehab Specialist

Higher Education Articles March 24, 2015

The rehabilitation field features various specialties. Job requirements depend on work experience and education. Prospective rehab specialists can determine their education needs according to their chosen rehabilitation specialty. Those who graduate from a bachelor’s degree program can seek entry-level occupations.

However, employers for these positions also entertain candidates that hold an associate degree in their field of interest augmented by a year or more of experience. In this article, we take a look at potential rehabilitation specialties and the minimum education needs associated with it:

Vocational Rehab Specialists

Individuals with physical disabilities can find jobs with the assistance of vocational rehabilitation specialists. Vocational rehabilitation specialists find job placements in accordance with the abilities of their clients.

These professionals are also adept at training clients to perform job tasks and in conducting assessments to ensure that required job functions can be performed adequately by the clients. They may perform their duties working with a clinical team that includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, and doctors.

In March 2014, those seeking entry-level positions are usually expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field, including vocational rehabilitation. However, these professionals may also qualify for occupations by earning a physical therapy assistant or occupational associate degree.

Mental Health Rehab Specialists

Individuals suffering from mental illnesses, learning disabilities, or developmental disabilities require assistance from mental health rehabilitation specialists to find jobs. These professionals also help their clients with demonstrating appropriate social behaviors. These rehab specialists are often employed as consultants in hospitals, private behavioral health agencies, and non-profit mental health organizations.

Individuals seeking these jobs may have to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology, or social work. In some facilities, jobs can be had by applicants with one to two years of work experience and some college-level courses in the mental health field.

Cardiac Rehab Specialists

Individuals who have suffered a cardiac event rely on the assistance of cardiac rehabilitation specialists for training in physical activity during their stay in the hospital and after they return home. Often, nurses work as cardiac rehabilitation specialists in assessing any special needs of the patient and work with physical therapists and cardiologists towards determining the most suitable rehabilitation plan.

In March 2014, licensed nurses with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing had the highest chance of employment. Additionally, applicants are required to have one to two years of previous experience with cardiac patients.

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