Allied Health Professionals List
Allied health professionals play a role in the identification, evaluation and prevention of various conditions and illnesses. If you are considering becoming an allied health worker, you have a lot of options. Allied health professionals include a variety of careers including respiratory therapists, imaging and x-ray technicians, lab technicians, sonographers and ultrasound technologists, physician assistants and medical assistants. Allied health professionals work in various settings including healthcare facilities, private medical practices, and government agencies. If you’re thinking about a career in allied health, you have several options. Below are some of the hottest allied health careers.
What Is Allied Health?
Allied health are health professionals that play a role in the identification, evaluation and prevention of various conditions and illnesses. They work amongst health care teams in order to provide information to physicians and other providers such as nurses and dentists. They play an essential role when it comes to delivering health care and related services. According to the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP), allied health professionals make up 60% of the U.S. healthcare workforce. Overall, allied health is a highly-sought after field. There are several reasons that allied health workers may be in demand. The population is living longer, which creates a need for more health works in different disciplines to care for patients. Also, advances in medicine are creating various specialties that did not exist years ago.
Allied Health Careers List
Included below are some of the most popular career paths that you can pursue as an allied health professional.
Not all allied health professionals work directly with patients. Medical technologists (also called clinical laboratory scientists or medical laboratory technologists) work behind the scenes, but their role is vital. They manage the testing aspects of a patient’s health information. Medical technologists analyze and test body tissues and fluids or any other sample removed from a patient for testing. They are also responsible for ensuring lab results from patients are completed in a timely manner.
Cath Lab Positions
Cath lab techs spend most of their time in an operating room. Patients rely on these professionals for assisting physicians before, during, and after cardiovascular procedures. Before and during surgery, the cath lab tech is responsible for ensuring all equipment is functioning properly. They will keep the doctors informed if they notice anything abnormal that needs to be addressed. In some instances, the cath lab tech will help prepare patients for surgery by cleaning, shaving, and if needed – anesthetizing the area of insertion.
These include positions for radiation techs and interventional radiology. These professionals are responsible for performing diagnostic imaging and administering radiation treatments. Working in radiation requires prior knowledge of human anatomy, equipment protocols, safety protocols, and basic patient care.
Some radiation professionals may specialize in a certain area of healthcare, such as cardiovascular, mammography, sonography, or general radiology. Those who specialize in radiation technology most likely deliver services to patients with cancer and other diseases.
Advances in medicine and technology have created more of a demand for respiratory therapists. Respiratory therapists treat people of all ages that have breathing problems, such as COPD, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. RTs also provide therapy for premature babies and trauma patients.
Respiratory therapy may include managing a patient’s ventilator, administering breathing treatments, or educating patients about their lung disease. RTs work in acute care hospitals, sub-acute facilities, and rehabilitation centers.
Where Do Allied Health Professionals Work?
Acute Care Medical Centers
Acute care medical centers and hospitals are inpatient facilities that care for people with a wide variety of medical conditions, such as orthopedic injuries, heart problems, and cancer. Hospitals and medical centers may vary in size and the specific services offered.
Many types of allied health workers find jobs in acute care hospitals including ultrasound techs, physician assistants, and nuclear medicine technologists. Allied health professionals that are not involved in direct patient care, such as health informational technologists, also work in acute care hospitals and medical centers.
Sub-acute hospitals are also inpatient facilities that care for patients that require ongoing medical care, but at a different level than an acute care hospital. In a sub-acute hospital, patients are usually more stable than those in an acute care facility. In some cases, patients that are discharged from an acute care hospital, but still need ongoing care, are admitted into a sub-acute facility before going home. Allied health workers in sub-acute facilities include respiratory therapists, medical lab technicians, and speech-language pathologists.
Rehabilitation centers usually provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment. Rehabilitation centers treat people recovering from various conditions and injuries, such as strokes, head trauma, and amputations.
Patients are usually medically stable and able to participate in various types of rehab therapy to relearn skills, improve functioning, and learn to adapt to their condition. Allied health professionals in rehabilitation centers include physical, occupational, and speech therapists.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Skilled nursing facilities care for patients with various medical needs as they recover from an illness, surgery, or injury. A skilled nursing facility may be a good option for people that are discharged from the hospital but are not well enough to go home. Recreational therapists, clinical nutritionists, and physical therapists are allied health professionals that often work in a skilled nursing facility.
Home Health Agencies
Home health agencies provide medical care to people in their homes. Patients must be stable enough to be cared for at home but can have significant medical problems. Allied health workers that may find jobs in home health include physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists.
Various types of clinics, such as urgent care centers, may also employ allied health workers. Clinics typically provide medical care on an outpatient basis. Allied health professionals at a clinic may include medical assistants, x-ray techs, and dental hygienists.
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