The field of rehabilitation therapy and recovery services is vast and qualified professionals who can work in the various areas are in great demand. In terms of education, these jobs can require a simple certification program, an Associate’s degree program, Baccauleate program, or even a Master’s or Ph.D. It depends on what you want to do and often what level of the job you are interested in pursuing. The more popular careers within this field include:
* Art Therapist
A mental health therapy that utilizes the creative process as a way of enhancing the emotional, mental and physical well being of patients of all ages.
* Dance/Movement Therapist
Dance/movement therapy involves working with adults and children to focus on improving self esteem, body image, communication skills and relationships.
Kinesiotherapy involves exercise principles that are scientifically based and are applied to enhance mobility, strength and endurance to people who require a great deal of physical conditioning or who experience functional limitations. A kinesiotherapist is a health care professional and works with patients to help them rehabilitate.
* Massage Therapist
Massage involves the manipulation of soft tissue that involves holding, causing movement or applying pressure to areas of the body. The massage therapist uses his or her hand or body to perform this type of therapy. There are many different types of massage, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, Shiatsu-acupressure, neuromuscular, trigger point and sports massage.
* Music Therapist
A music therapist addresses physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs through the use of music. This type of therapy is effective for patients of all ages who are victims of disabilities or illnesses. A music therapist uses both instrumental and vocal music strategies to create changes in patients that are non musical. Music therapy can also be used to manage stress, improve memory, promote wellness, alleviate pain and enhance communication.
* Occupational Therapist Assistant or Aide
Occupational therapist assistants or aides work under the supervision of occupational therapists and work with people who have mental, physical, emotional or developmental impairments in a rehabilitative capacity. They may work with people who have been injured to help them re enter the work force or increase their ability to function in normal living conditions. They may also work with people who have learning disabilities to help them become more independent.
* Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapists work with people to help them improve their ability to perform their tasks at home or at work, usually in a rehabilitative capacity. They work directly with the patients to help people who are mentally, physically, developmentally or emotionally disabled. They can help patients with these disabilities develop or recover skills for daily living and for work.
* Physical Therapist Assistant or Aide
A physical therapist assistant or aide works with patients to perform certain components of physical therapy procedures under the supervision of a physical therapist. They assist physical therapists to help patients recover or improve mobility, relieve pain and prevent, limit or rehabilitate from physical disabilities. Assistants work with patients under the supervision of a physical therapist while aides perform tasks to make the therapy sessions more productive such as keeping the treatment clean and preparing for each patient’s session.
* Physical Therapist
Physical therapists develop treatment programs and work directly with patients to help them restore function, relieve pain, improve motility and limit or prevent permanent damage from physical disabilities that stem from disease or injury. They assess the patient’s medical history and perform a variety of tests to measure the patient’s strength, balance, coordination, muscle performance, range of motion and motor function. They are also able to determine to what degree a patient should be able to live independently and reintegrate into the workplace or community after an illness or injury.
* Recreational Therapist
Therapeutic recreation specialists, or recreational therapists, work with patients to provide treatment services and recreation activities who have a disability or illness. They use various techniques such as arts and crafts, sports, animals, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings as therapies to help patients treat and maintain physical, emotional and mental well being.
Rehabilitation counselors help people who have disabilities that are mental, emotional or physical to become or remain independent, self sufficient and productive citizens. Patients may have birth defects, have illnesses or disease or have an injury that may or may not be work related. They help them learn how to integrate into and work in their community.