Other Health Professions
Human Performance Specialists focus on the application of scientific processes to improve individual and team athletic performance, and decrease injury risk among all populations. These professionals may work across the breadth of scientific disciplines or be a specialist practitioner, who has training and/or applied experiences predominantly within one or more specific scientific discipline area(s) relevant to sport science, sports performance, and injury prevention.
Human Performance Specialists work with other healthcare specialists, such as athletic trainers, orthopedic surgeons, and team physicians, to maximize individual and team athletic success. Employment is often found with professional sports teams or collegiate athletic programs, and more opportunities will be available to those with advanced degrees in exercise physiology, biomechanics, or applied health science.
Consider the U of I Fitness, Health and Human Performance degree emphasis with the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.
The Integrated Sports Medicine Movement Analysis Laboratory (ISMMAL) and the Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory on the Moscow campus provide excellent opportunities for students to pursue undergraduate research that will enhance their applications to graduate degree programs previously mentioned.
Sport psychologists help professional and amateur athletes overcome psychological problems to enhance their performance and achieve their goals. Athletes might consult sport psychologists if they become anxious or lose focus during competition, have trouble communicating with teammates, controlling their temper, or even simply motivating themselves to exercise. Sports psychologists can also enhance athletic performance by teaching athletes to use various mental strategies, such as visualization, self-talk and relaxation techniques.
These professionals can help athletes at all levels deal with pressure from parents, coaches, or even their own expectations. Sports organizations for young people may hire a sport psychologist to educate coaches about how to help kids enjoy sports and how to promote healthy self-esteem in participants. Advanced degrees in counseling or psychology are often required to gain employment in this field.
(source: American Psychological Association)
Consider the U of I B.A. or B.S. in Psychology with the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.
Epidemiology is the study and control of disease or injury patterns in human populations. When an unknown health crisis attacks a community, epidemiologists investigate the cause of disease and control its spread. Epidemiologists work at all stages of the outbreak with other public health practitioners to identify and stop the outbreak.
Epidemiologists do fieldwork to determine what causes disease or injury, what the risks are associated with health outcomes, what populations are at risk, and how to prevent further incidences of a disease, behavior, or transmission. They consider the demographic and social trends of populations in relation to a disease and injury. Epidemiologists are often credited with the initial discovery and containment of an outbreaks, such as avian flu or mad cow disease.
Professionals in this field use statistical analysis through a distinctively different approach and methodology than what biostatisticians, Epidemiologists consider various hereditary, behavioral, environmental and health care factors. They also work extensively with other professionals working in the contributions of biological, clinical and other sciences, this can even include field techniques derived from biochemistry and molecular biology.
(source: Explore Health Careers - Epidemiology)
Public health biostatisticians use mathematical and scientific methods to determine the cause of disease and injuries, to identify health trends within communities, and to evaluate healthcare programs. Examples of using statistical methods in public health include:
- Analyzing the effectiveness of new drugs in comparison to current treatments
- Determining the relation of specific risk factors to a disease or other health outcomes
- Explaining the probability of biological phenomena and health outcomes
- Evaluating health programs
Career opportunities for graduates offer competitive salaries. Positions are available in data management, pharmaceutical and clinical trials, data analysis, and academia. In the public health sector, biostatisticians are needed at the federal, state and local levels.
(source: Explore Health Careers - Biostatistics)