10 Things You Should Know Before You Apply to Work at a Rehab Center

by Patrick Bailey

The healthcare sector can be one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding fields to work in. When we niche down in healthcare even more, we see a sub-field in healthcare that yields a present relevance–rehabilitation centers. What is it like to work in a rehab center? Below are some of the things you should know before applying to work in this healthcare field.

What comes to mind when we think of rehab centers? Do we think of people in white coats and scrub suits, leading away patients who seem to have issues too deep to bear? This may be a common stereotype, but rehab centers are more than that. In fact, there is fulfillment in the calling of helping those who are suffering from substance use.

Current job growth in rehab centers

In the US alone, there are 25 million people suffering from substance abuse. The rates of people being admitted to rehabilitation centers continue to rise as the substance use problem persists. This includes patients who are admitted because they are undergoing abuse of illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medications. Some rehabilitation centers are also dedicated in curing different types of psychological disorders stemming from abuse or life circumstances.

Here are some interesting facts about job growth in rehabilitation centers:

  • All healthcare sector jobs, including those involving rehabilitation medicine, have an average job growth rate of 7%.
  • Those who are interested to work in addiction counseling can expect to have better employment opportunities as job growth will be 22% in the next 10 years.
  • Rehabilitation nurses can expect a job growth rate of 19%.

These statistics may be encouraging to any potential employee, but it is important to know the realities of working in a rehab center foremost. Below are 10 things you need to know before applying for a job in the rehabilitation healthcare field.

1. Understand your credentials first.

Even if you are interested in helping people with substance use problems, it should be clear to you what role you want to fulfill in this multi-disciplinary field. Just like fields in science or education, rehabilitative healthcare also has different positions to fill in.

Do you want to be a doctor in rehabilitation medicine? It is important to understand the career path of being this type of doctor first. Perhaps a specialized nurse may also be an option, but you also need to ensure that you have the right type of license in the state you are residing. Addiction counselors also have their own set of credentials that are important for employment. If you want to work for the best rehab centers in US, you need to perform your research about the specific occupation you wish to take.

2. Get to know the reputation of the rehab center you want to work in.

Before applying for a specific rehab center, it is important to also do your research regarding the company. Are they a registered, reputable institution? Do they have verified reviews from previous workers and clients?

This is essential because many reports have been made about rehab centers’ fraudulent activities. Some people and insurance companies are scammed, giving poor quality or non-existent services to clients while they take advantage of the payments being made. If you end up working in a center like this, you may not have the proper compensation for your job.

3. Understand the treatment philosophy of the rehab center.

As you study and gain experience to become a worker in a rehabilitative healthcare field, you may have developed a school of thought that echoes your beliefs about how patients should be treated.

It is difficult to work in a place that doesn’t align with your own principles of patient care. Rehab centers have different ways of how they operate and treat their patients, so it is important to find the ones that you agree with the most.

4. The work can be challenging.

Some people with substance use problems often display symptoms of aggression or any other type of heightened emotions. If you do plan to push through with working in a rehab center, be prepared to receive unexpected remarks from patients or even moments of aggression. You will be oriented on how to handle these situations and how to keep you and your clients safe.

Understand that this is all part of the job–you are intervening a problem that runs deep physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is important to depersonalize these statements and place yourself in your patient’s shoes.

5. You will meet people from all walks of life.

The problem of addiction does not discriminate–it can affect people from all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Be prepared to meet people from all walks of life. On some occasions, they can be as familiar as a neighbor, or even an individual who speaks a different language. In rare instances, they can even be high-profile personalities, and at any point you have to understand the importance of confidentiality.

If you are someone who wants to experience the challenge of dealing with a diverse group of people, then you may truly consider working in a rehab center.

6. The work requires patience and endurance.

Just as substance use disorders took time to develop, it also takes time for patients to recover. You may be happy that a patient you have worked with recently got discharged, only to find out that he is back the following week after a relapse. This may make you question if you have done your best to help or if made any difference at all.

This is why this job requires patience and endurance. You need to have the power to motivate, encourage, and show empathy to your clients. These are people who may have gone through difficult life situations, and many of them are still going through some. It takes a strong worker to see through these needs and respond to them lovingly.

7. Sticking by the rules is not optional.

One of the ways to find success in working in the rehabilitation healthcare field is abiding by the rules. This applies within your job description, the rules within your rehab center, and how you administer patient care.

In other fields such as art or even research sciences, it helps to be creative and find out-of-the-box ideas to accomplish a task. However, working in healthcare, especially those in rehabilitation requires evidence-based practice and working by these principles to ensure that you give the best quality of service.

8. The job requires continuous training.

Speaking of evidence-based practice, it is imperative that all professionals working in rehab centers should always be updated with the current methods that are effective for treating patients.

Whether you are a doctor, a nurse, a counsellor, or someone who performs administrative tasks in the facility, the protocols often evolve and further training is required. Make sure that your company also offers these growth opportunities for you, because it is also for the sake of your clients.

9. It can be a rewarding vocation.

Working in rehabilitative healthcare means you are directly impacting lives–you are playing a role in the 180-degree turn of someone’s life. As patients decide to go on rehab, they are placing their trust upon you to help make that change. This is a high calling that can lead a person towards a better path.

No wonder there is a strong demand for professionals in this field–it’s because people desire change, but they need agents of change to help them. Understand that although it can be challenging, the rewarding feeling of helping re-shape someone’s path is also a joy in itself.

10. Your patients appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.

When patients pass throughout your years of working in rehabilitative healthcare, it may be easy to assume that it can be a “thankless job” sometimes. However, just like how we appreciate teachers, doctors, public servants, and any other job–know that in the back of a patient’s mind–they appreciate you more than you’ll ever hear or know.

Take a changed life as a form of gratitude towards your profession. Although you may not always expect to hear words or encouragement, promotions, or even material gifts from thankful clients, this may be small compared to the contributions you have made to help shift someone’s course in life.

Considering work in a rehab center?

If you are planning to work in a rehab center, take note of these things. Set a realistic mind towards what you are facing ahead, and you are better off making a wise decision about your career path.


Patrick Bailey is a professional writer, mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Nurses Need to Stop “Eating Their Young”

As it was first said in 1986, “nurses eat their young,” and last week, that adage proved true for one young nurse who took her own life. Now is the time to end nurse bullying.

As it was first said by nursing professor Judith Meissner in 1986, “nurses eat their young,” and last week, that adage proved true for one young nurse who took her own life. Rhian Collins, a 30-year-old nurse and mother of two, committed suicide after being bullied by her coworkers at a U.K. psychiatric hospital.

In light of this tragic news, we find it is our responsibility to have a frank and open discussion regarding nurse bullying and suicide. Because, at its core, the nursing profession is a caring one. It takes certain levels of empathy and heart to do what nurses do, day in and day out, and that should not only be reserved for patients, but also for your fellow nurses.

Stress and burnout among nurses are, understandably, pervasive. Shifts are long, hospitals are understaffed, and tensions are high, but to put it in perspective, research suggests that at least 85% of nurses have been bullied at some point in their nursing career, and the number could actually be higher, as it is often speculated that incidents are under-reported. One study has stated that depressive symptoms among nurses clock in at 18%, and another shows that number as high as 41%. Even more alarming, a U.K.-based study published last year found nurses are 23% more likely to commit suicide than women in general, and the BBC has reported that nurses are four times more likely to commit suicide than people working outside of medicine.

All of those staggering numbers, and yet, the culture of nurse-on-nurse bullying has not changed much, if at all, since it was first said that “nurses eat their young.” However, there is hope, as many younger nurses have been put through the paces of school-based anti-bullying initiatives as they have grown up and stigmas of mental health issues have began to lessen. But unless and until a different mindset takes over the nursing profession, the problem will persist.

You cannot eat your young and expect them to survive.

We know you are stressed out. We know your hours are long, your back is aching, and you probably didn’t get to have a real lunch break today. We are not negating those stresses in any way. However, it doesn’t take much effort to just be kind—to yourselves and to your fellow nurses. You may just save another life in doing so, and that is what nursing is all about, saving lives.

If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or others, we encourage you to seek help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or by texting 741741 to have a conversation with a trained crisis counselor via the Crisis Text Line.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Physicians Are Burning out, but Unlikely to Seek Help

Despite more than half of physicians surveyed admitting they have experienced burnout, 67% said they have never met with a mental health professional.

Physician burnout is a deeply alarming and widespread problem in healthcare. We don’t have to tell you, however. According to a recent study conducted by locumstory, the chances are incredibly high that you, as a physician, have seen your fellow physicians experiencing it, or you have felt the effects of it, firsthand.

In a survey of more than 3,700 physicians, located in nearly every region of the country and working in nearly every specialty and setting, 74% of physicians reported seeing symptoms of burnout in their colleagues, while 52% personally admitted to feeling burnt out, and that same percentage (52%) stated that they believe burnout is affecting their job performance. The top two specialties that admitted to seeing burnout in themselves and reported it was affecting their job performance were emergency medicine and psychiatry. Surgeons were the least likely to report feeling burnt out.

The most common burnout symptoms reported were irritability and apathy, and about half of physicians also reported feeling chronic fatigue, as well as impaired memory and attention. A staggering 6% of those surveyed admitted that they have contemplated suicide because of the demands of their profession, and more than 10% said they take medication for anxiety or depression, most of which having claimed their profession contributed to their anxiety or depression.

Even though more than half of those surveyed reported that they have experienced burnout, and 6% admitted suffering suicidal thoughts, physicians are not seeking help. Despite 51% reporting that their workload had impacted their mental health, only 17% of physicians surveyed said they have met with a mental health professional, and even less (16%) have considered it. 67% said they have never met with a mental health professional. One reason for this could be explained by another finding of the study: more than half of physicians (53%) agreed that mental health is a taboo issue.

There is hope, however. Last year, the AMA announced they were adopting a new policy aimed at improving physician and medical student access to mental health care. The new policy is structured around helping reduce stigma associated with mental health illness that could unfairly impact a physician’s ability to obtain a medical license and impede physicians and medical students from receiving care. Additionally, the AMA’s Steps Forward Program, part of their Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability initiative, which launched in 2011, is a resource designed to improve the health and well-being of patients by improving the health and well-being of physicians and their practices through a series of practice transformation modules.

Most physicians build their careers around saving lives, or at the very least, improving them. That needs to apply to themselves, as well. If you are a physician who is experiencing burn out, we encourage you to consider looking into the Steps Forward Program further, as well as seeking appropriate mental health care. Your lives, and the lives of your patients, depend on it.

To explore mental health resources available to you, please visit https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/index.shtml.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

The Doctor Will Analyze You Now

A health center for native Alaskans brought mental and physical care under one roof, with impressive results. Why isn’t it more popular?

from Politico

As a child growing up in rural Alaska, Vera Starbard was diagnosed with major depression. She’d been sexually abused by her uncle and was plagued by thoughts of suicide. By the age of 10, she’d already spent time as an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital. “It was a really dark time,” she says. “And I didn’t feel like it was ever going to get better.”

But when she was 11, things changed. Her family moved to Anchorage, and they joined the Southcentral Foundation, a health care provider for native Alaskans. The foundation was launching a new approach to health care—one that wove mental health into the rest of its primary care.

Read More →

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Expanding the Role of PAs in the Treatment of Severe and Persistent Mental Illness

Patients with severe and persistent mental illness often face limited access to psychiatric and primary care—PAs could change that.

from JAAPA

Among mental health teams that care for patients with severe and persistent mental illness, a growing concern is patients’ limited access to psychiatric support. One contributing factor is a shortage of psychiatrists, especially in community-based and outpatient settings. Physician assistants historically have been used in settings with physician shortages.

Read More →

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Doctors Are Human Too

One doctor openly discusses the often-overlooked epidemic of suicide among physicians, and what can be done to stop it.

from The New York Times

When I started working as a doctor last year in a metropolitan public hospital in Sydney, rotating through the emergency department and the surgical and medical wards, as all doctors do in their first year of practice in Australia, my experiences were no better or worse than those of any of my colleagues. Nor are they dissimilar to the experiences of junior doctors around the world. But we are speaking about these things now, where I am from, because my colleagues are killing themselves.

Read More →

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Depression Among Nurses: It’s Real

Nurses are twice at risk for depression than the general population.

from NurseBuff

Every day, nurses experience a great deal of stress. You’re thinking of problems at work, people relying on you for their care, and tons of responsibilities piling up at home. With so many things to do and think about, it’s tempting to just quit and leave—but you can’t. And that’s where things start to get worse.

Read More →

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.