n. A group of medically prescribed health care services, such as occupational therapy, speech pathology, and physical therapy, provided by licensed professionals.
While the above definition is certainly true, it may not fully answer your questions. What is allied health? Sure, it is easy enough to list some examples of what a career in allied health might look like. Occupational therapy, speech pathology, and physical therapy all fall within the broad definition of allied health. However, allied health encompasses much more. Allied health professionals work in a variety of roles with one common goal; provide high-quality medical care to patients in need. In order to better answer the question, what is allied health, it is important to answer two distinct but interrelated questions.
Who are Allied Health Professionals?
As mentioned above, allied health professionals can work in countless roles. While some of the best-known examples are occupational and physical therapy, allied health also includes such positions as MRI technician and licensed clinical social worker. However, perhaps what best defines allied health professionals is the common skills they share rather than the different roles they fulfill. Ultimately, there are five traits or qualities common among all great allied health providers.
- These individuals must first be excellent communicators. Allied health professionals must be able to ensure their patients are well informed despite complicate medical terminology.
- Allied health requires good bedside manner. Even though you may not actually be working at patients’ bedside, the notion still stands.
- Regardless of the specific job, allied health providers must be strong problem solvers. In any medical work, providers must be quick and thoughtful in response to various problems.
- Related to bedside manner, allied health professionals must be empathetic. When working with patients from various backgrounds, it is important to be able to see things from their perspective.
- Finally, allied health providers must be thorough. Few industries have stakes as high as healthcare, meaning that allied health providers must take extra care to treat each patient fully and to the best of their ability.
What is an Allied Health Job Like?
Again, it does not make sense to simply list possible job opportunities within allied health. However, there are some common themes among various allied health roles. For example, allied health professionals can work in a number of similar settings including hospitals, private practice, care homes, universities, and schools. Regardless of what specialty you choose, chances are good that you will have a variety of options as to where you can practice. It is also important to note that each of these career paths requires some additional schooling. Despite the various types of degree programs, expect to specialize somewhat before beginning a career in allied health. Ultimately, allied health professionals, “apply scientific principles and evidence-based practice in order to optimize patient or client outcomes“. This means that allied health professionals use their advanced educations to ensure that their patients get better. Though they are not nurses or doctors, allied health professionals are extremely important to the healthcare system at large!
Now the next time you’re wondering (or someone asks you!), “what is allied health?”, you will know how to answer! Allied health is the area in the healthcare industry that helps keep things moving. They operate medical machinery, prepare patients for tests and operations, and generally help to fill in the gaps within the medical field. With so much dependent upon allied health professionals, be sure to thank one next time they treat you! All healthcare providers deserve a thank you a little more often. And for those who are allied health professionals, be sure to check out our available job listings here! Whatever your specialty, you may find exciting travel career opportunities ahead.