Become a Rehabilitation Specialist

Rehabilitation Specialist

What Can You Do With a Psychology Degree? Rehabilitation Specialist

Do you take pride in your ability to help other people through tough times? Are you a sensitive and compassionate person? Are you currently considering a psychology program at a university or one of the online psychology schools to graduate with a degree in psychology? If you answered yes to these questions, then a rehabilitation specialist position might be right for you.

What a Rehabilitation Specialist Does

Rehabilitation specialists work with patients who have psychiatric, physical, emotional or social disabilities to assist them in improving their quality of life. You would be working with social workers, mental health counselors, rehabilitation counselors and psychiatrists to develop the best rehabilitative service plan for the patients. A specialist will work with patients who have various disabilities that range from mild to severe. Rehabilitation specialists will often times work side by side with rehabilitation counselors and actually share some of the same responsibilities. It is pertinent that you are able to work as a team with other professionals to create the best outcome for the patients you serve.

You will be given the chance to provide the rehabilitation team with fresh ideas as you develop each client’s treatment plan. Working with other professionals, you will be creating treatment plans for the patient based on what types of goals, limitations and strengths they have. Clients may need assistance in locating resources such as wheel chairs, computer programs or other devices that help them adapt to everyday life. Your primary goal as a rehabilitation specialist is to help your clients achieve as much independence as is possible.

Some duties of a rehabilitation specialist include assisting patients in developing job skills, procuring a job for the patients and helping them become integrated into the community in which they live. You may be helping with job applications, typing skills and interviewing skills as you help them find a good job that suits their needs and abilities.

In addition to those duties, you may be responsible for helping their employers understand the specific abilities and needs of this particular disabled person so your client can be set up for success. Many specialists will make patient observations in which they will be able to determine which rehabilitation services they need as they monitor progress and set backs. Some specialists will work with elderly individuals who have developed a disability due to injury or illness to help them cope with their new limitations. If you are looking for what to do with a psychology degree, a career as a rehabilitation specialist can be a wise choice for you as you make good use of your psychology degree.

Where Can I Work As a Rehabilitation Specialist?

A rehabilitation specialist can be found in a few different settings, including hospitals, inpatient mental health facilities, outpatient mental health clinics, nursing homes, and other residential treatment facilities. It is important to determine what type of patient you would be most interested in working with so you can make a decision on where to seek employment. More severe psychiatric, physical, emotional, or social disabilities will be found in an inpatient mental health facility or hospital setting. If you only want to work with mild cases, you will want to work in an outpatient mental health clinic, hospital setting or an assisted living facility.

How Can I Become a Rehabilitation Specialist?

When you’re in school, you may be wondering: what can I do with a psychology degree? With your university or online psychology degree, you will be well equipped to be hired as a rehabilitation specialist. Rehabilitation specialists are best prepared by either a university bachelor’s degree program in psychology or an online psychology degree program. A minor in rehabilitation services can also benefit you if you think this is a career that interests you. These types of educational programs will prepare you to work with clients with various disabilities by equipping you with strategies to assist the clients with their mental rehabilitation as well as motivation strategies.

As with most social service careers, opportunities for advancement require a graduate degree. A master’s degree in either psychiatric rehabilitation or rehabilitation counseling will be most beneficial for seeking an advanced position in the rehabilitation or counseling field.

Why Choose to Be a Rehabilitation Specialist?

A rehabilitation specialist can earn around $20,000 to $35,000 per year depending on the location of their job and their education level.  Rehabilitation specialist positions offer an individual the opportunity to have hands on approach in assisting at risk clients in making their lives more independent. If you have a love for helping others better their lives, this is an excellent choice for you. It allows you to utilize your education with your bachelor’s degree in psychology as you fill an extremely important role in society.

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