Becoming a Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialists help patients with heart and lung ailments to understand and manage their health problems and live longer. Their main focus on reducing health risks and improving quality of life. They work with patients suffering from asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, angina, coronary artery disease, heart attack and other ailments.

The main responsibilities of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialists are:

* Help patients understand the condition and medical history
* Assist the patients in resuming normal activities
* Identify risk factors and other things that contribute to patients’ health problems
* Suggest treatments, change in lifestyle and diet schedule
* Educate the patients about quitting bad and unhealthy habits
* Suggest healthy living habits
* Design a customized healthy living program for each patient and monitor that

Education Requirements:

1. Earn an Associate’s Degree: The aspiring Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialists need to complete an associate’s degree program in occupational therapy, rehabilitation science or physical therapy. They can also go for a four-year bachelor’s degree program.

2. Job Experience: Internship is very essential for the aspiring Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialists. They can get hands-on experience working with patients in medical facilities, which will help them to become professionals.

3. Licensure: Since many states in the United States (U.S.) require the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialists to be licensed, the aspirants can appear in a written licensing examination such as the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) to get additional boost to their career profile.

Salary & Job Outlook: Job outlook for the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist, remains excellent and may grow faster than national average. The annual average salary for these professionals was $81,110 in May 2012.