Allied Health programs are among the fastest growing careers in the country and in Tennessee, projecting between 10 and 30 percent growth through 2011 (US News and World Report, 2008; Allied Health in Tennessee: A Supply and Demand Study, 2004). Enrollment in ETSU's Allied Health programs has increased 40 percent over the past 5 years, reflecting students' interest in these programs and the communities' need for these healthcare professionals. Even when nursing is excluded from the definition of allied health, these professions represent between 40 and 60 percent of total healthcare employment (Allied Health).
The college currently has two types of programs, those that provide diagnostic and preventative care, including programs in dental hygiene and radiography, and programs that have a rehabilitative focus, including cardiopulmonary science (respiratory therapy), physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and audiology. Our programs include undergraduate, certificate, and graduate programs that prepare clinical practitioners for the workforce and academic/research careers. These programs are housed on our main campus, the adjoining VA campus, as well as in the Nave Center in nearby Elizabethton, Tennessee.
According to the latest data from the bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook and compensation for the majors offered by the college are above national average. The aging population will continue to sustain the need for trained Allied Health professionals and keep compensation above average. The information below highlights the average annual salary of the professions currently represented in the college and their average starting salaries (Allied Health Tracking Report, 2007; Assocation of Schools of Allied Health Professions, Trends, 2008).
Physical Therapists - Mean Annual Salary of $71,520 and Average Starting Salary of $59,900. Dental Hygienists - Mean Annual Salary of $64,910 and Average Starting Salary of $45,379. Speech-Language Pathologists - Mean Annual Salary of $63,740 and Average Starting Salary of $55,000. Radiologic Technologists and Technicians - Mean Annual Salary of $51,150 and Average Starting Salary of $30,339. Respiratory Therapists - Mean Annual Salary of $50,930 and Average Starting Salary of $39,740. Audiologists - Mean Annual Salary of $63,660 and Average Starting Salary of $45,953. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2007 National Occupational Wage Estimates; Payscale.com December 2008). Registered Dietitians - Mean Annual Salary of approximately $50,000 after 5 years in the field and Average Starting Salary of $40,000+ (varies by education level and geographic region).
There are many different exciting career opportunities which can be explored through the programs within the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences.
With our Speech Language and Pathology program, students can explore career opportunities as a Speech Language Pathologist. Professionals in this particular field assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent speech, language, cognitive, communicative, voice, swallowing, fluency and other related disorders. Most Speech Language Pathologists are employed in either an educational or healthcare setting.
Our Audiology program allows students to explore career opportunities as an Audiologist. These professionals work with individuals who have hearing and balance problems. They interpret the results of various hearing tests and may coordinate them with medical, educational, and psychologial information to make a diagnosis and determine a course of treatment. Like Speech Language Pathologists, Audiologists are also typically employed in an educational or healthcare setting.
Students interested in our Dental Hygiene Program can explore career opportunities as a Dental Hygienist. Professionals in this field remove soft and hard deposits from teeth, examine patients' teeth and gums, take and develop dental x-rays, and educate patients about proper oral health care. The population growth, along with the greater retention of natural teeth, will stimulate the need for more Dental Hygienists in the future.
Our Radiology program offers students a chance to explore career opportunitities as a Radiologic Technologist. Professionals in this field take x-rays and administer non-radioactive materials into patients' blood streams for diagnostic purposes. Some specialize in diagnostic imaging technologies such as Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Professionals must follow physicians' orders precisely and conform to regulations concerning use of radiation to protect themselves, their patients, and their co-workers from unnecessary exposure.
Students interested in our Cardiopulmonary Sciences program can explore career opportunities as a Respiratory Therapist. Professionals in this field evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Respiratory Therapists treat patients of all ages ranging from infants to the elderly population.
Those interested in our Physical Therapy program can explore career opportunities as a Physical Therapist. Professionals in this field provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. They also consult and practice with a variety of other professionals such as physicians, dentists, nurses, educators, social workers, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and audiologits.
Our nutrition/dietetics program allows students to explore career opportunities as Registered Dietitians. Registered Dietitians (RDs) are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. RDs use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes. Professionals in the nutrition/dietetics field perform comprehensive nutrition assessments, determine nutrition diagnosis, plan and implement nutrition interventions (using evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines) and monitor and evaluate an individual's progress. Individuals with a variety of conditions and illnesses can improve their health and quality of life by receiving medical nutrition therapy (MNT) provided only by Registered Dietitians. RDs work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice. Employment of dietitians is expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2018 because of the increased emphasis on disease prevention, a growing and aging population and public interest in nutrition and health.
For more information on any of our programs or these exciting career fields, please contact the Deans Office at 423-439-7454.
Education in the Information Age is changing rapidly. Online education offers students the flexibility to learn at convenient times and places. Working adults can better balance the demands of their lives with their need to continue their education.
The College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences continues to be on the forefront when offering students non-traditional methods of earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in health care. Currently, the College offers 5 of the 8 online degree programs available at East Tennessee State University. The College has developed a regional and national reputation as a leader in online education.
The Dental Hygiene program was one of the first in the nation to offer an online Bachelors of Science degree completion program. The Department of Allied Health Sciences developed the nation's first accredited online program of study in polysomnography (sleep disorders). Radiography and Cardiopulmonary Science (Respiratory Therapy) programs also offer online Bachelors of Science degree completion programs for students that have previously completed Associate of Applied Science degrees in these professional areas of study. Likewise, students that have received Associate of Applied Science degrees in any allied health discipline can pursue an online Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Leadership. Allied health professionals looking to advance their careers into healthcare administration or education can pursue an online Master of Science degree in Allied Health graduate program. If you would like more information about these programs, please contact the Department of Allied Health Sciences at 423-547-4900.
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East Tennessee State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500, or website: www.sacscoc.org with any questions regarding the accreditation of East Tennessee State University.
East Tennessee State University PO Box 70300 Johnson City, TN 37614 423-439-1000
College of Clinical & Rehabilitative Health Sciences 384 Lamb Hall | PO Box 70282 Johnson City, TN 37614 423-439-7454