Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist provides both immediate and long-term guidance for the physical rehabilitation of individuals who have one or more cardiac or pulmonary-related conditions or diseases, such as heart attack, heart surgery, or emphysema.
These clinicians are typically responsible for providing exercise education regarding disease management, lifestyle modification, and psychosocial support to patients with cardiac and/or pulmonary disease. A major component of this physical rehabilitation is to administer and supervise exercise testing and training sessions.
Clinical settings generally include hospitals, outpatient clinics, and medically supervised fitness centers. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialists usually work standard business hours, although they may meet patients and supervise group exercise programs during the evening or on weekends.
Hospitals hire exercise specialists and require at least an undergraduate degree. However, opportunities for employment improve with an advanced degree and some type of recognized certification, such as that by the American College of Sports Medicine.