What Are the Different Types of Therapeutic Careers?

A. Reed

Therapeutic careers are those in which people are trained to help others solve a particular problem, typically in an area affecting their health and wellness. Not just for treatment of specific health issues, the primary focus of therapeutic work is health promotion and maintenance, of which prevention of illness plays a chief role. Nursing, massage therapy, mental health, and nutrition are a few examples of therapeutic careers.

Being a hemodialysis nurse is one therapeutic career.
Being a hemodialysis nurse is one therapeutic career.

Nurses provide care to patients in many healthcare settings, including clinics, medical centers, and homes, working to help them to recover from illness or injury, as well as to sustain an optimum status of health. In addition to these traditional settings, licensed nursing professionals are also employed by schools, skilled nursing facilities, hemodialysis, and hospice centers. Specialties are numerous and offer lots of advancement opportunities, such as pediatrics and oncology, as well as surgery and trauma nursing. Advance practice therapeutic careers in nursing such as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwifery, and nurse anesthetist involve diagnosis and treatment, which might include ordering and interpreting tests, as well as prescribing medication.

A career in mental health is considered therapeutic.
A career in mental health is considered therapeutic.

Considered part of complimentary medicine, massage therapy involves the use of the hands to bring about healing and relief from stress. A masseuse applies pressure to various areas of the body, penetrating underlying tissues including muscles, tendons, and lymph nodes for purposes of wellness. Massage is known to help to alleviate pain and lower blood pressure, as well as provide relaxation and improve immunity. To become a massage therapist, completion of a training program in the field offered at numerous vocational or trade institutions is necessary, followed by a licensing examination depending upon the locale of practice.

Certain therapeutic careers center around the psychosocial aspects of people. Particularly involved with diagnosing and treating clients with mental illnesses, clinical psychologists are licensed professionals who have obtained a doctorate degree in psychology, the field of study focusing on the how and why of human behavior. Psychologists use several techniques or therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy to provide a new way of viewing situations, and coping with fears and overwhelming life issues. Committed to helping clients with a myriad of difficulties, especially those who are homeless, without a job, and possibly in need of food and medical care, social workers provide assistance working for agencies such as child and elderly protective services, educational institutions, and public welfare agencies. These mental health workers also counsel clients on how to deal with mentally stressful situations such as natural disasters.

Nutrition has to do with how the human body specifically makes use of its nutrients, of which diet and health status are an important part. Nutritionists hold at least a master's degree and generally work as licensed or certified healthcare personnel, providing counseling and advisement regarding nutritional requirements, dieting, and weight loss, as well as issues involving special diets such as for diabetics and expectant mothers or breastfeeding women. Also assisting patients with making valuable lifestyle changes, nutritionists can be found helping people diagnosed with such illnesses as heart disease or eating disorders.

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