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Career Services:
What Can I Do With This Major?
Additional Resources: PDF Version     Additional Links Allied Health

What can I do with these degrees?
ALLIED HEALTH
Physical & Occupational Therapy, Cytotechnology, Dental Hygiene, Health Information Management, Medical Technology

AREAS
PHYSICAL THERAPY- Physical therapy involves treatment through physical means for people disabled by illness, accident, or congenital handicap. Physical therapy seeks to improve mobility, relieve pain, or minimize permanent physical disabilities.

Clinical Practice
     Acute care
     Neuro-rehab
     Out-patient
Management
Education
Research
Consultation

EMPLOYERS
Hospitals
Clinics
Home healthcare agencies
Nursing homes
Sports medicine facilities
Rehabilitation centers
Schools
Group or private practices
Universities and colleges

STRATEGIES
Earn a master's degree in physical therapy from a program accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association. Programs include supervised clinical experiences. Some programs are moving toward a doctoral degree. Obtain a doctoral degree for teaching and research positions. All states require licensure which includes passing an examination. One third of physical therapists work in hospitals and one quarter are employed in physical therapy offices.
Attain superior grades in pre-physical therapy course work due to intense competition for admittance to physical therapy programs. Obtain knowledge of several basic sciences including anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics. Volunteer for a physical therapist in a hospital or clinic to gain experience and improve chances of acceptance into a program. Many programs require volunteer experiences and a good knowledge of the field for admission.
Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills. Must possess patience and a desire to help individuals of all ages with disabilities. A positive attitude is important when working with patients. Manual dexterity and physical stamina are important in succeeding in physical therapy work. Some physical therapists specialize in pediatrics, geriatrics, sports, orthopedics, etc. after gaining several years of general experience.

AREAS
CYTOTECHNOLOGY - Cytotechnologists are detectives who study the patterns of disease progression found in human cells. These laboratory professionals detect subtle changes and clues within cells. With expert eyes, the cytotechnologist looks for the smallest abnormalities in color, shape, and size that may indicate clinically significant conditions. This rewarding profession provides the potential to help save lives by discovering disease early and uncovering information that informs effective treatment.

Screening and Diagnosis:
     Cancer
     Pre-cancerous abnormalities
     Benign tumors or growths
     Infectious organisms and inflammatory conditions
Evaluation of Tissue:
     Bladder
     Bone and soft tissue
     Breast
     Female reproductive tract
     Liver
     Lung
     Lymph nodes
     Pancreas
     Thyroid
Technological Equipment Operation:
     Light microscopes
     Biomedical instrumentation
     Laboratory information systems

EMPLOYERS
Hospital and private laboratories
Federal and state government laboratories
Clinics and university medical centers
Public health facilities
Research and biotechnology industry
Healthcare administrative departments
Educational institutions

STRATEGIES
Supplement curriculum with courses in biology that emphasize body structure, development, tissue organization, and function. Recommended courses include histology, cellular biology, and genetics. Additional recommended coursework may include other biological sciences such as zoology or ecology. Become familiar with applied learning techniques. Most programs utilize a combination of training activities such as microscopic evaluation, laboratory skills development, case presentations, research, community health projects, and supervised clinical laboratory site experiences. Earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Cytotechnology from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Prepare for and pass the certification examination given by the Board of Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Develop problem solving as well as effective written and verbal communication skills. Display personal characteristics such as accuracy, responsibility, and motivation.

AREAS
MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY
Medical technologists, also known as clinical laboratory scientists, work together with other members of the healthcare team to perform and supervise laboratory analyses on blood, body fluids, and tissue. They also provide data to detect, diagnose, and monitor disease. Medical technologists use medical equipment such as microscopes, computers, and other highly technical instruments to assist them in their work.

Blood Banking
Microbiology
Hematology
Chemistry
Immunology
Urinalysis
Molecular Biology

EMPLOYERS
Hospital and private laboratories
Biotechnology industry
Research and forensic laboratories
Public health laboratories
Laboratory industry sales and lab product development
Universities and colleges
Pharmaceutical companies
Armed forces

STRATEGIES
Earn a bachelor's degree in medical technology from a program accredited by the national Accrediting agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Be prepared to participate in supervised clinical experiences. Many states require a license to practice. Obtain licensure by passing a certification exam given by the National Certification agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NCA) or the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Registry (ASCP). Attain good grades in pre-medical technology course work, including biology, anatomy, physiology, and general and organic chemistry. Develop manual dexterity; fine motor skills, and an attention to detail. Visit a clinical laboratory. Talk with practitioners to gain critical knowledge of the profession.

 

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer