Allied healthcare jobs compose 60% of all healthcare jobs in the United States. Still, few people know about allied health professionals.
Most people only consider doctors and nurses as healthcare professionals. When they think about hospitals and doctors’ offices, these professionals come to mind. In actuality, there are other medical professionals.
These individuals work in health and wellness centers, too. We call them allied healthcare workers.
If you’re curious about who these allied health professionals are, keep reading. These individuals often go unrecognized. But, they are important to the fields of health and wellness.
What Is Allied Health?
Allied health refers to a group of healthcare professionals that you may have never heard of. These individuals fall outside of the typical healthcare roles. These ‘typical’ healthcare roles include positions you’ve heard of: doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists.
Allied health professionals may require any kind of education. From on-the-job training to graduate degrees, it depends on many factors.
Some positions need a certain certification or licensure. Others depend on the employer’s requirements. Some are state-regulated and some aren’t.
There is a diverse range of positions in allied healthcare. Yet, most experts agree that there are three, main categories:
- Primary care workers – work with patients in a healthcare role
- Health promotion, administration, and rehabilitative workers – work with or without patients in an administrative/goal-oriented role
- Diagnostic professionals – work with patients on diagnosing diseases through medical testing
Examples of Allied Health Jobs
There are more than 100 allied health jobs hiring these days. This means that there is a wide range of allied health positions to choose from. Here are some of the most popular allied health jobs:
- Exercise physiologist
- Occupational therapist
- Social worker
- Speech pathologist
We recommend building a network of allied health professionals. You’re going to create a diverse group of individuals with unique backgrounds.
What Do Allied Health Professionals Do?
There are so many different focuses and disciplines within allied health. There’s bound to be an allied health position that you love.
Some allied health professionals work in patient-centered roles while others perform administrative tasks. Some see a hundred patients a day while others don’t even see one.
If you’re curious about what allied health professionals do, you’ll need to look up the careers one by one. There’s no way to summarize all the allied healthcare roles.
But, we can categorize them if you’re looking for something specific.
Here are primary care roles in allied health:
- Medical assistants
- Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
- Dental assistants
Here are health promotion, administrative, and rehabilitative positions in allied health:
- Medical billers and coders
- Occupational therapists
- Pharmacy technicians
- Sterile processing technicians
Here are diagnostic positions in allied healthcare:
- Cardiovascular technologists
- Radiologic and MRI technologists
- Medical laboratory technologists
Where Do Allied Health Professionals Work?
Allied health professionals can work in any sort of health-related capacity. You can find allied healthcare workers at wellness centers, doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, gyms, and more.
The exact location and availability of positions depend. Usually, these change based on an individual’s level of education and experience. Individual health locations may have requirements different from others.
If you’re looking to work in a specific medical or wellness setting, you should do some research. Different companies may have different requirements. You may need to prep for training or graduate classes.
The Difference Between Medical and Allied Health Professionals
Medical and allied healthcare professionals are similar, but they are not the same. They work together, but they do not perform the same responsibilities.
Medical professionals focus their efforts on evaluating, diagnosing, and treating patients. Even pharmacists learn basic physiology. They help their patients understand their medications and potential physiological effects.
Often, medical professionals work one-on-one with patients.
But, allied health professionals focus on aiding medical professionals in their work. Individuals working in allied healthcare work alongside individuals working in the medical profession. They collaborate with one another.
Allied health professionals are aiding medical professionals. This is whether they’re coding medical bills or shooting x-rays. Allied healthcare workers allow medical professionals to spend more time with patients.
The last major difference between the two career paths is the required education. But, those in medical roles need more education than those in allied health positions.
But, this isn’t the golden rule. Some allied health positions need graduate degrees. Some medical positions need bachelor’s degrees.
What Personality Traits Should Allied Healthcare Workers Have?
If you’re thinking about diving into allied health, there are some qualities that you may want to consider. Some people don’t have the patience required for allied health positions.
That being said, the wide range of positions in allied healthcare makes it easy for anyone to find a position that they like. You may not meet any of the typical qualities and still thrive in an allied healthcare position.
Here is a list of the most common personality traits and qualities that you can find in most allied healthcare workers:
- Good, clear, and consistent communicator
- Ability to work in a team
- Strong work ethic
Again, you don’t have to have any of these traits to work in allied health. However, individuals with these traits tend to find the positions more fulfilling.
More on Healthcare
Allied health covers over 100 unique positions across the health and wellness industry. These professionals can perform complicated tasks and duties. At the same time, they contribute to a patient’s evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.
Allied healthcare professionals aid and work alongside medical professionals. They can offer care and medical assistance to patients in different ways. With this variety, there’s bound to be a job or career that you’ll love.
Look up the requirements of these careers in your city if you’re looking to get into allied health. Your preferred location or preferred company may differ from other places and companies. Look at the educational and experience requirements of your chosen position.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog to learn more about medical careers and allied health professions.