Allied Healthcare Professionals And Their Role In The Healthcare System

Allied Healthcare Professionals And Their Role In The Healthcare System


Within the overall healthcare system, allied healthcare professionals can find a wide range of fulfilling and in-demand careers.  If you have been exploring these opportunities lately, you would also have become familiar with terms such as allied health courses, allied health certificate or certificate iv in allied health assistance etc.  Allied healthcare, while being part of the larger medical sector, is distinct from the basic medical profession though it supports the medical profession in several ways.  In order to understand allied healthcare at close quarters, you should gain a broader understanding of modern-day health care systems and the role of allied healthcare in the larger canvass.

What Is Allied Healthcare?

Most patient-facing jobs encompass doctors and nurses. But, within the global healthcare market, allied health care jobs take up about 50% of all available jobs. In other words, allied health care covers jobs lying outside traditional healthcare jobs such as nurses, dentists, pharmacists, doctors etc. Medical professionals should undergo the stipulated course of study in a medical institution and follow it up with specialized studies in a desired area of specialization and qualify. On the other hand, educational requirements for allied health care can be on-job training or a graduate degree depending on your choice of a particular branch under allied health care.  Many reputed Australian institutions offer allied health certificate, certificate iv in allied health assistance etc. Specific stipulations may apply to certain jobs within the allied healthcare segment and these stipulations generally come from the respective state governments addressing issues like licensing, certification etc. and perhaps needs of employers.

Allied Healthcare Education

Educational requirements for allied healthcare are as wide as the opportunities. However, most positions require a certificate, bachelor’s degree or associate degree. Therefore, potentially, you are looking at your dream career a few years away from the time to you choose a stream of learning within allied healthcare.  However, there are also many allied healthcare education courses that you can complete quickly within a year or even less. There are also many part-time certification programs or evening courses for the benefit of students having family obligations or working students. Before you enrol in any of these courses, you should ensure that the institution offering the courses and the courses themselves are accredited within your jurisdiction.

Benefits Of Allied Healthcare Careers

When you choose an allied healthcare career, you are focused on helping other people and this is a great place to get started with your aspiration.  Your orientation can be towards the functioning of the nervous system, the heart, disabilities, laboratory work, or managing medical records, but there is an opportunity that answers your quest.

What Roles Do Allied Healthcare Professionals Fit In

Managing and coordinating health care for individuals experiencing life-limiting health issues can benefit from a multidiscipline team approach from a wide range of health care providers. Such teams include allied healthcare professionals who don important roles across different settings either as sole practitioners or team members.  Depending on the discipline they are trained in, allied healthcare professionals can be helpful in managing symptoms including nutrition and medication support, mobility and communication, helping individuals to maintain independence and function, provide emotional support, sharing information on disease progression and planning future care,  and provide help with connecting individuals and their families to supporting services. With existing and newer diseases rendering more and more people confined to bed, opportunities for allied healthcare professionals are only bound to rise in tandem.  Following are among the branches of allied healthcare for aspirants to qualify in and pursue.

  • Music therapist
  • Dietician
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Psychologists
  • Speech pathologists
  • Social workers

Functions Of Allied Health Professionals

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After acquiring stipulated training or education, allied healthcare professionals will assist patients in one or more areas of healthcare and include:-

  • Recovering mobility or movement
  • Improving nutritional status
  • Developing communication skills
  • Overcoming visual issues
  • Restoring confidence with skills needed for everyday living

Allied healthcare professionals can work in a wide range of settings and surroundings including people’s homes, hospitals, surgeries, schools and clinics. They partner with social and health care colleagues from primary, secondary, social care, voluntary and independent sectors. Licensing from regulatory bodies or registration with professional associations or other authorities stipulated in different jurisdictions may be needed for these professionals to practice in a chosen discipline under allied healthcare.

Working Of Allied Healthcare Professionals

Most allied healthcare professionals work alongside other medical professionals in hospitals or clinics and help with:-

  • Diagnosing, assessing, treating, discharging and/or referring patients to other disciplines or services
  • Train, teach, and mentor students, clinicians, carers and patients
  • Developing extended practitioner and clinical roles that may cross organisational and professional boundaries
  • Providing specialist advice and liaising with clinicians
  • Playing a pivotal role in promoting wellbeing and health
  • Actively participate in policy development and strategic planning for local services and organisations.
  • Engage in research and developmental activities.

Skills In Critical Appraisal

Given the fact that about 50% of all the internet resources are devoted to healthcare and this makes accessing information, collating data, interpreting data and collaborating with other professionals significantly easier than in the past. Another huge advantage is that you can access all this information with the help of a mobile phone or another handheld device. Irrespective of the branch of allied healthcare profession you focus on, it is important that you develop skills needed to critically appraise your findings in real-life situations to help you progress at a rapid rate.