As the healthcare industry grows, the need for skilled professionals in related fields also grows. Allied health covers a wealth of options from health administration to radiography. As many as 200 job titles fall under the heading of allied health. Allied health careers provide direct and indirect services within the healthcare industry. These careers fall into two broad categories: Technicians and therapists/technologists.
Defining the Roles of Allied Health Professionals
Both categories offer an array of services to patients, including direct care, imaging technology, lab testing and more. Technicians or assistants perform services under the supervision of a therapist or technologist. For example, a physical therapy assistant helps patients under the direction of a physical therapist. Therapists and technologists receive more intense education, including how to diagnose patients, develop treatment plans and understand different treatments. Within these roles, allied health care offers specialized services to patients. These are just a few of the possibilities for those interested in a career in healthcare:
- Nursing assistants
- Pharmacy technicians
- Medical billers and coders
- X-ray technicians
- Dental assistants
How to Get Certified in Allied Health
The specialized education needed to provide patient services requires job seekers to have certification in their chosen field for many of these allied health professions. Technician or assistant positions typically requires less than two years of schooling. Some programs can be completed in as little as twelve weeks. When deciding on your career path in allied health, be sure to look at options and the length of time it takes to be certified for an entry level job opening.
Finding the Right Allied Health Program
The sheer number of programs available to train students for allied health careers makes it impossible for any single institution to cover them all. Different schools offer different programs, although there may be a fair amount of overlap depending on the program. For example, those interested in the administrative side of the healthcare industry might want to look at medical administration training. In many associate programs, billing and coding is covered as part of the coursework. It takes longer to obtain the degree, and you could pursue a career in billing and coding with a direct entry course, but both options are available. Ultimate Medical Academy offers a range of programs designed to help job seekers enter the allied health workforce. UMA offers programs such as Nursing Assistant or Phlebotomy Technician with completion times of approximately 8 and 12 weeks respectively. Consider the type of career you are interested in, and determine how much time you are willing to invest in education before finding a job in your field. Armed with that knowledge, you can find an educational program that meets your needs.