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Therapy Cluster: Healthcare

Physical Therapist
Physical therapists (PTs) provide services to patients and clients who have impairments, functional limitations, disabilities, or changes in physical function and health status resulting from injury, disease, or other causes. They plan and carry out programs to help these people gain strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination, and overall physical functioning. Physical therapists also provide wellness services and programs to lessen pain and to prevent injury. They use lifestyle modification techniques, therapeutic exercises and rehabilitation techniques, heat, cold, electrical stimulation, water, and assistive devices to help their patients. Often physical therapists work as part of a health care or rehabilitation team.

Audiologists are professionals who specialize in the assessment of hearing and the rehabilitation of hearing loss. Their activities include newborn hearing screening, identification of hearing loss in children and adults, assessment of hearing, and the selection/fitting of hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other devices. Some audiologists are involved with measurement of noise levels and hearing protection. An audiologist sees people of all ages, from children born with hearing loss to older adults with acquired hearing problems. They frequently work with medical specialists, educators, researchers, and other health professionals in a variety of work settings.

Speech/Language Pathologist
Speech-language pathologists are specialists in communication who evaluate and treat problems with speech, language, and swallowing. Such problems include difficulties with articulation (pronunciation of the speech sounds), fluency (such as stuttering), vocal nodules caused by improper voice use, as well as problems with organizing heard or spoken language that result from brain disorders or strokes. These professionals also work with patients who have conditions such as cleft palate, mental retardation, and hearing loss. Speech-language pathologists work closely with hearing specialists (audiologists) to treat children and adults whose hearing problems affect their communication skills.

Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapists (OTs) use many techniques to help people learn or re-learn to carry out the occupations of daily life such as eating, dressing, writing, cooking, going to work, being a student, and doing the other things people want to do. They work with people whose functioning is impaired by physical or mental illness or injury, old age, or developmental disabilities. OTs evaluate functional skills, train people to do things such as dress or drive a car in a new way, identify barriers to meaningful activities, and help people adapt activities or use adaptive equipment to help their clients achieve self-sufficiency. OTs often work with other therapists and health professionals as members of a treatment team

Creative Arts and Horticultural Therapist
Creative arts therapists develop programs that incorporate their artistic talents and health skills to improve the mental and physical well-being of patients. Creative arts therapists are concerned with determining what the patient’s art reflects about his or her personality development, traits, and emotional state. These means of expression and communication can assist in improving the client’s functional abilities and resolving emotional issues. Creative arts therapists encourage a patient’s artistic abilities and instill a sense of accomplishment.

Activity director
Plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients and patient groups in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions. Activities include sports, trips, dramatics, social activities, and arts and crafts

Certified Athletic Trainer
Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) are medical professionals who prevent, assess, manage, and rehabilitate injuries that result from physical activity. ATCs strive to help physically active individuals avoid unnecessary medical treatment and disruption of normal daily life. As part of a complete health care team, the ATC works under the direction of a licensed physician and in cooperation with other health care professionals, athletics administrators, coaches, and parents.

Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical therapy assistants (PTAs) perform treatment procedures as directed by physical therapists and assist them with more complex procedures. An assistant may monitor a patient’s progress on exercise equipment; perform massage; provide heat/cold, electrical, and ultrasound therapy; and provide the therapist with a detailed account of all therapeutic sessions.

Occupational Therapist Assistant
Certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs) work under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist (OTR). They help individuals who are learning to handle the occupations of daily living, such as dressing, eating, or maintaining their home, but who have disabilities because of age, developmental disabilities, injury, or illness. COTAs carry out treatment plans established by the occupational therapist for individuals and groups in a variety of settings.

Respiratory Care Practitioner/ Sleep lab specialist
The respiratory care profession, also known as respiratory therapy, is the health profession that cares for patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system. The Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP), also known as a respiratory therapist, provides care to a diverse group of patients ranging from newborn and pediatric patients to adults and the elderly. Today’s RCPs participate in the development, modification and evaluation of care plans, protocol administration, disease management, and patient education involving such disease states or conditions such asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive lung disease, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, infant respiratory distress syndrome, and conditions brought on by shock, trauma, or postoperative surgical complications.

Recreational Therapist
Recreational therapists individually assess and treat patients using interventions designed to improve patients’ physical, cognitive, emotional, leisure, and social functioning. They work to increase patients’ independence in life activities as well as reduce or eliminate the effects of illness or disability. Recreational therapists use a variety of therapeutic interventions to help their clients such as exercise, relaxation training techniques, athletics, weight training, social activities, behavior modification and management, values clarification, counseling, meditation, leisure education, and community reintegration. A certified or licensed recreational therapist supervises the work of recreational therapy assistants or technicians.

Rehab technician
Under close supervision of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, perform delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations.

Rehab program coordinator/counselor
Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, disease, accidents, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.

Speech/Language Pathology Assistant
Speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) are paraprofessionals who are specifically educated and trained to treat children and adults with speech and language problems under the direct supervision of a speech-language pathologist. SLPAs perform screening tests and provide therapy following a written treatment protocol developed by the speech-language pathologist. SLPAs can also help with scheduling patients, ordering supplies, filing information, and conducting research activities.


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EMT -- Paramedic (including Critical Care)

Salary Range: $20,000-$40,000 and up
Education offered at: Alamance CC (Cert), Davidson CC (AAS, Cert), GTCC (AAS), Randolph CC (Cert), Rockingham CC (Cert, AAS), Surry CC (Cert), WFU (ACLS, PALS & NRP Certs)
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