As most people are aware, any job in the medical field today is likely to result in long term gainful employment. Many medical jobs remain unfilled due to the small number of qualified applicants available. While many people think about nursing jobs, therapy jobs can be just as rewarding and offer many of the same benefits. Someone who has completed their training for a therapy job and has at least one year of experience can even qualify to work as a traveling therapist, providing opportunities to see the world and enjoy different kinds of working environments. Many people who become nurses become LPNs first. They are able to seek gainful employment as an LPN while continuing to attend classes to earn their RN. The same is true for therapy jobs.
After only two years of study, graduates are eligible to work as therapy assistants. With additional study, they can progress to becoming a full-fledged therapist with all the requisite benefits. Therapy jobs are excellent for those who enjoy helping others. Therapists and their assistants provide services to people who are developmentally challenged, to those who have suffered illness or injury and to the aging population. Therapists evaluate their patients and develop a plan of action to restore function to the patient. They must establish rapport with the patient and must balance empathy with a willingness to push the patient through the discomfort to receive the benefit of treatment. Some specialize in areas where they may work with the same patient for years while others may only work with a patient for a relatively short period of time. There are several specializations of therapy jobs.
Physical therapists work to improve range of motion and to reduce discomfort. Occupational therapists work to improve the patient’s ability to complete self-care and normal everyday tasks. Speech therapists work to help the patient communicate more effectively. All use a variety of exercises designed to achieve the long term objective that the patient desires and to help the patient progress as far as they are able. Therapy jobs designed to assist those with developmental delays and disabilities often work with people of all ages. Most people with developmental issues are identified within the first four years of life and begin therapy as soon as the issue is diagnosed. Patients with degenerative disabilities or those who are developmentally challenged may receive therapy that matches where they are for their entire life. These therapists work with children to learn to walk, to feed themselves, to play and to take on as many self-care tasks as they can.
As the child gets older, they may help the individual learn how to function within society often partnering with school programs for challenged individuals. Therapists who specialize in injury or illness often work in or around hospital settings or rehabilitation facilities. These specialists are more likely to work with adults, although some will work with children. Within this group, there can be sub specializations for specific illnesses or injuries. For example, those who help athletes regain the ability to play their sport are generally only working with athletes and understand the competitive spirit of their patients.
Finally, there are therapists who specialize in working with the aging population. These most often work in assisted living or nursing facilities. They help older adults to be as active and self-sufficient as they are able to be. They help ease the pain and stiffness of aging joints and provide exercises that help even those who are no longer able to be mobile. So if you are considering a job in the medical community, take time to consider more than just nursing. Therapy jobs can be as rewarding and offer as much variety. The schooling requirements are also similar, making the jobs directly comparable.