While the term “hospital” is often used in the context of physical needs, it is easy to forget that mental health professionals also play a vital role in the healing of hospital patients. If you hold a graduate degree in psychology but have a passion for serving those desperate individuals who must suffer in both body and mind, you may wonder if it is possible to apply your expertise in a hospital or other medical setting. Holding a master’s degree in psychology opens up an entirely new level of job opportunities, including many positions in hospitals and health clinics. Here, we describe four popular hospital careers for individuals who have earned a Master’s in Psychology.
Neuropsychometrists may work with both children and adults to measure the psychological state of patients. They evaluate the overall mental state of patients by administering a variety of assessments. These tests may measure aspects of intelligence, discernment, awareness, personality, and gross and fine motor skills. Neuropsychometrists should be up-to-date on the methods, standards and ethics of psychological testing and should be able to build effective relationships with patients.
As the field of sports psychology continues to grow, many professionals of this expertise are being hired by hospitals. Sports psychologists work with athletes of all ages and skill levels, from aspiring to professional, to help them maximize their performance. In hospital settings, this job may include motivating injured athletes by helping them return to sports in a safe and effective manner. Sports psychologists may also use athletics as a form of therapy for patients with anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders.
Counselor/ Social Worker
Emotional trauma is bound to follow physical illnesses and injuries, and hospitals often hire counselors and social workers to help patients cope with their feelings and the stress of being in a hospital environment. Professionals in this discipline may also work with the families of hospitalized individuals. Counselors and social workers should have a great capacity for empathy, as their job is to help others process grief, worry, hostility, loneliness and other negative emotions in a healthy manner.
Rehabilitation specialists are counselors who motivate patients and ease the recovery process as patients strive to overcome injuries, illnesses and addictions. Professionals in this area may facilitate group therapy or hold treatment sessions with individuals. When assigned to an individual, they are responsible for ensuring that the patient’s physical and emotional needs are met. In addition, rehabilitation specialists may help patients create treatment goals, follow through with treatment plans, and find jobs as they re-enter the workforce.
According to the American Psychological Association, 19% of psychology professionals with master level degrees work in hospitals or medical centers, and the demand for psychologists in the field of healthcare is growing at a steady rate. As imperative to effective treatment as the presence of nurses and medical doctors, psychologists are needed in a variety of rewarding jobs throughout hospitals in order to ensure that patients receive well-rounded care for their physical, mental and emotional needs.