Example Career: Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists
Assess and diagnose patients with neurobehavioral problems related to acquired or developmental disorders of the nervous system, such as neurodegenerative disorders, traumatic brain injury, seizure disorders, and learning disabilities. Recommend treatment after diagnosis, such as therapy, medication, or surgery. Assist with evaluation before and after neurosurgical procedures, such as deep brain stimulation.
What Job Titles Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Might Have
- Pediatric Neuropsychologist
- Staff Psychologist
- Aviation Neuropsychologist
- Clinical Neuropsychologist
What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Do
- Write or prepare detailed clinical neuropsychological reports, using data from psychological or neuropsychological tests, self-report measures, rating scales, direct observations, or interviews.
- Conduct neuropsychological evaluations such as assessments of intelligence, academic ability, attention, concentration, sensorimotor function, language, learning, and memory.
- Interview patients to obtain comprehensive medical histories.
- Provide education or counseling to individuals and families.
- Diagnose and treat conditions involving injury to the central nervous system.
- Provide education or counseling to individuals and families.
- Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in neuropsychology.
- Establish neurobehavioral baseline measures for monitoring progressive cerebral disease or recovery.
- Diagnose and treat pediatric populations for conditions such as learning disabilities with developmental or organic bases.
- Consult with other professionals about patients' neurological conditions.
- Distinguish between psychogenic and neurogenic syndromes, two or more suspected etiologies of cerebral dysfunction, or between disorders involving complex seizures.
- Educate and supervise practicum students, psychology interns, or hospital staff.
- Diagnose and treat neural and psychological conditions in medical and surgical populations, such as patients with early dementing illness or chronic pain with a neurological basis.
- Diagnose and treat psychiatric populations for conditions such as somatoform disorder, dementias, and psychoses.
- Compare patients' progress before and after pharmacologic, surgical, or behavioral interventions.
- Identify and communicate risks associated with specific neurological surgical procedures, such as epilepsy surgery.
- Participate in educational programs, in-service training, or workshops to remain current in methods and techniques.
- Conduct research on neuropsychological disorders.
- Design or implement rehabilitation plans for patients with cognitive dysfunction.
- Provide psychotherapy, behavior therapy, or other counseling interventions to patients with neurological disorders.
- Diagnose and treat conditions such as chemical dependency, alcohol dependency, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) dementia, and environmental toxin exposure.
What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Should Be Good At
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Memorization - The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Should Be Interested In
- Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Need to Learn
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.