Hi again, Amy.
I see you mentioned that you are in CA. If you're willing to move to another state you may have better luck, since exercise physiologists seem to be viewed differently in different parts of the country. I got my MS in Illinois and had my first positions as a CEP in Illinois. But, 5 years later I relocated to Pennsylvania and was shocked at the lack of positions available and how little CEP's are valued and paid. In Illinois many hospital systems had CEP's as directors or managers of cardiac rehab and the RN's reported to the CEP. But in PA, at least southeast PA, RN's (who, incidentally, often know very little about exercise) manage the programs and the CEP's (who might not even be clinically trained) work for them for, what I consider, a very low wage. So, look at places out of state, as well, if you are free to relocate.
Thanks for your reply, this helps me understand a little bit better. I live in CA and I am finding that there are just not a lot of positions in my area so I am feeling a bit stuck.
Thanks for the idea, I will see about gaining some more clinical experience through the rehab department.
After years of working in corporate and retirement community settings, I decided I wanted to move to cardiac rehab. So, I worked first in a PT setting--aiding PT's and running a post-rehab fitness program. This allowed me to develop a good understanding of clinical lingo and the whole process of how important it is to jump through the hoops of the insurance companies to get reimbursed. After a couple of years I applied to an open position in Cardiopulmonary Rehab at a local hospital. So, when I interviewed it was much easier to talk about the clinical setting, because I was working in one. This made me a much better applicant for the position and I got the job. So, that's a route you might also want to look into.
In the healthcare system I work for in NC, it is almost unheard of for there to be an "outside hire" for a full-time position. In my experience and that of a lot of my CEP coworkers, most started as interns while finishing up bachelors/masters. Upon graduation, we applied and were hired as PRN employees, and then in a FIFO sort of manner, as full-time became available the position was offered to the most "senior" PRN employee.
Applying for positions is highly competitive due to our proximity to a state university that graduates roughly 100+ bachelors students and around 10 masters students yearly. That doesn't take into account the other colleges in the state that also vie after positions in the city.
It definitely seems to be a supply and demand situation and PRN or per diem positions are a cost effective way on the healthcare system to hire extra labor without having to pay out benefits. Coming from the experience of being PRN, it does offer the employee flexibility and if their manager is willing to give them set hours, it can be a relationship that benefits both parties.
Hi, I was wondering how most people get into working for cardiac rehab facilities. I just got my CEP certification and am working in a retirement home as a Wellness Coordinator. I would love to work in a cardiac rehab setting (I completed an internship in grad school). I have seen job postings for per diem CEP positions but I wanted to see if there were others who have gone that route to help increase their experience. Would love any thoughts on working per diem and full time.