What Does a Neuropsychologist do?

neuropsychologistAre you considering a career as a neuropsychologist? Is your goal to earn your doctorate in neuropsychology? If you are interested in becoming a practicing professional in the interesting and advancing field of neuropsychology you will need to complete years of training, and it is important to take a step back so that you can learn if this is the right career path for you before you invest this time. Read on and learn about the day in the life of a neuropsychologist so that every dollar you spend on your education is a dollar well spent.

What Settings Does a Neuropsychologist Work In?

Neuropsychology is the science that studies how the brain interacts with the world and how specific behaviors in individuals can demonstrate problems in the function of the brain. Because there is a need for neuropsychologists in a variety of different settings, these professionals work in a variety of settings with a wide range of different types of patients. From research facilities to departments treating patients recovering from serious trauma, neuropsychologists can work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, neuroscience centers, criminal justice settings, and in psychiatric settings.

What Are the Roles of the Neuropsychologist?

Neuropsychologists work closely with a large team of medical professionals to treat individuals who suffer from brain injury due to trauma. While the multidisciplinary teams can vary from setting to setting, generally you will work with a neurosurgeon, a neurologist, and other medical providers who help with the specific medical problem depending on the root cause of the trauma.

When working with patients suffering from problems with brain function, a neuropsychologist will give patients a variety of tests that are proven to help assess the function problem. These tests include language assessments, mental exams, personality tests, and other cognitive tests. If you are working in a research facility, you may not work directly with patients and may be more focused on conducting research and studies within the center.

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Who is the Right Candidate For the Field?

It is difficult to explain everything that a neuropsychologist does because every case is unique in its own way and every setting varies. If you do want to enter a field like this, you need to make sure you are the right fit. As a neuropsychologist, you need to be a good team member without needing to be the leader of the team. You should also be an optimistic individual who can keep confidential information private, help patients cope, and feel empathy without breaking down in front of clients. Working with brain damaged patients is rewarding, but as a medical professional you must be able to be professional while still being compassionate. Many students find the first part of clinical training to be emotionally draining, but these students learn to cope through different counseling options.

When you are choosing a program to prepare you for a rewarding career, be sure to choose a program that meets the standards set by reputable associations like the American Psychological Association. By choosing an accredited psychology degree program, you can attain the skills that you need assess and treat brain injuries and find a great place in a hospital or other medical care setting. Achieve your goals by going to school, and then feel great about your contributions once you are a neuropsychologist.