How to Become a Gerontologist in Pennsylvania - PA
The first step towards becoming a gerontologist in Pennsylvania is to decide what career path you want to take, and then choose the online or campus-based school that best satisfies your goals. Gerontologists in Pennsylvania go on to do many things. They create nutritional and dietary programs for the elderly patients at a place like the Albert Einstein Medical Center. They help people properly care and handle their parents, when they’ve been diagnosed with an age-related mental illness like dementia. Because there are so many options to pursue for a gerontology career in Pennsylvania, and then so many roads to take to get there, how you go about completing your education depends entirely on what your goals are. The most common route is to enroll in a gerontology based degree program. Depending on the level of education you need, you’ll be in school anywhere from one to six years, with successive degree’s opening up newer, better paid career opportunities.
Many allied health professionals begin in another field, and then make gerontology the emphasis of their study. A geriatric nurse practitioner, for example, will go to a nursing school or program, but take gerontology related classes, or, after graduation, begin a new two-year educational program centered on elderly care.
As you near graduation, you might want to consider taking a certification test administered by the GSA, or Gerontological Society of America. Gerontology certification in Pennsylvania is not required of most, but successful completion of it shows future employers that you are serious about your career, committed to excellence, and interested in staying connected to a network of your peers and staying abreast of the latest developments in your field.
The Pennsylvania state medical board does not require licensure or certification for most general gerontologists, but anyone coming over from another allied health field, whose field is normally subject to licensure or certification, will still have fulfill all of those requirements to be able to work. For example, an occupational therapist specializing in gerontology will still need to take the NBCOT, and apply for a license, before they can work.