Fields within the Medical Path (Part2)

Fields within the Medical Path (Part2)

Do you want aA medical field career, but aren’t sure what you want to do or where you will fit in? Thankfully, there are plenty of career options from which to choose, and not all of them require years of schooling and long residencies.

Perhaps you are interested in dealing directly with people and providing high quality customer service; if so, you might find working as a medical receptionist or hospital intake coordinator appealing. Medical assistants, nurse’s aides, and dental hygienists are just some of the careers that might appeal to those interested in medical field careers without investing years in school. If the idea of long-term training does not deter you, then any number of medical careers exists: physician, nurse, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, physical therapist. Many of these upper level vocations require a minimum of four years in college, with most requiring graduate level work with clinical practice. These careers are challenging in both classroom and real life, but those who have the determination and discipline necessary to succeed in these areas will discover a lifelong, rewarding medical career.

Physical Therapist

According to Mosby’s Medical Dictionary (2009), a physical therapist “is a person who is licensed in the examination, evaluation and treatment of physical impairments through the use of special exercise, application of heat and cold, and other physical modalities. The goal is to assist persons who are physically challenged to maximize independence and improve mobility, self-care and other functional skills necessary for daily living.” Patients are referred to a physical therapist when a physician diagnoses a patient with some physical ailment that may or may not benefit from pharmacologic intervention. Physical therapists must hold a master’s degree from an accredited physical therapist program and must pass a licensing exam before they’re allowed to practice. Peoople in these medical careers work in a variety of settings: rehabilitation centers, hospitals, nursing facilities, private physician’s offices, fitness centers, and some run their own physical therapy practices. Job outlook over the next ten years looks promising for physical therapists (PTs). In 2008, PTs held 185,500 jobs. Most worked in hospitals or doctors’ offices. It’s safe to say that becoming a physical therapist now is a smart career choice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the employment rate for physical therapists to grow 30 percent over the next seven years – much faster than the national average. Job outlook is made even more promising when one considers the fact that people are living longer, advancements in health care prolong the lives of those with disabilities, and changes in the health insurance industry allow third-party payers to reimburse physical therapists for their services. More people will gain access to physical therapy, thus increasing demand for service. Salaries for physical therapists are competitive. In 2008, physical therapists earned an average of $72,790 per year. Home health care services employed the most PTs and paid the highest salaries at $77,630 on average.

Choosing to become a physical therapist means you will work in a stimulating environment and always be challenged. PTs have to utilize creative techniques and methods of treatment when caring for some of the sicker and more disabled patients. Physical therapists should value communication skills and have the ability to interact well with a variety of people. PTs need to be comfortable interacting with physicians and other health care professionals as well as patients they see every day. Physical therapy is an appropriate career choice for those interested in fitness and creating ways to help improve the physical mobility of others.