Who are allied health professionals?
Allied health professionals refer to health professional outside of medicine, nursing and pharmacy. These professionals work together in health care teams in order to facilitate the overall function of the health care system, making up about 60 percents of the healthcare workforce.
The types of occupations are many. Some fields address diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment through the use of scientific principles and evidence-based approaches. Other fields are focused on general wellness; some on disease prevention. Some allied health professionals are those in administration and management positions who help organize and support the health care system overall.
Allied health professionals offer a range of medical services, including the following:
- Disease and disorder identification, evaluation, and prevention
- Rehabilitation and health systems management
- Dietary and nutrition services
Their positions include, amongst many others, the following:
- Dental hygienists
- Medical technologists
- Occupational therapists
- Diagnostic medical sonographers
- Medical assistants
- Athletic trainers
- Social workers
- Physician assistants
- Exercise physiologists
- Music therapists
- Physical therapists
- Speech-language pathologists
- Respiratory therapists
- Occupational therapists
What is the history of allied health professionals?
After World War II, the world experienced a boom in scientific knowledge, technology and a need for medical services. On top of acute care needs, an understanding of the benefits of comprehensive patient care began to grow. As more individuals realized the utility of progressive and preventative healthcare, more opportunities opened for specialization and collaborative teamwork. Although the movement toward collaborative healthcare began decades ago, its diversity, provisions and needed support continue to evolve and expand today. Globally, the nation is need of nearly 2 million allied health professionals to keep the healthcare system functioning and to pertain to everyone’s healthcare needs.
Why do we need allied health professionals?
Allied health professionals are the threads that weave together the healthcare system and keep it together. Allied health professionals promote the health of the nation by providing patient-centered care in the many fields that exist outside of acute medicine and nursing practices. Supportive health fields such as exercise, health education, nutrition, and speech all keep the nation healthy and moving forward together.
Why do we need more allied health professionals?
Healthcare continues to grow in the U.S., already comprising 18 percent of the economy. By 2020, the demand for healthcare professionals is projected to grow almost twice as fast as the national economy, making space for about 3 million more jobs.
What is the training for allied healthcare professionals?
Serving in the healthcare industry require dedication and education, but not every position requires medical school. Depending on the degree of specialization, an allied health profession could require a degree, diploma, continuing education and/or certification. Some positions do not require additional credentials as some areas of facilitation can be demonstrated and learned on-site.
To some degree, most allied professionals have skills in medical terminology, medical law and ethics, human relations, counseling skills and basic life support. Some specialties have additional training in healthcare documentation, interviewing, database management, word processing and/or electronic dictation.
If you are curious about the support provided by allied health professionals or you have an interest in becoming part of the healthcare industry’s backbone, reach out to Mercedes Transcription. We can provide the education and resources necessary to fully understanding what it takes to be part of the collaboration and how these specialized individuals create a safe, healthy population for the nation every day.