The rapid growth of the healthcare industry across the globe has ensured its evolution as one of the biggest employing sectors. The good news is that this expansion has also led to the growth of career options, which were earlier considered insignificant within this sector. In fact, reports suggest that the demand for allied healthcare professionals has grown by nearly one-third over the past two decades. However, before rushing to get admission in an Allied Health Sciences course, it is important to learn about the career options that have been experiencing the greatest growth. The top ten such options are explained in brief as follows:
1. Occupational Therapists
The growing awareness about helping injured, ill, and disabled people to lead a better life through proper medical therapy and care, has led a surge in the demand for occupational therapists. These professionals generally work with patients who find it difficult to perform everyday tasks due to some mental, physical, developmental, social, or emotional disability. They help patients overcome obstructions effectively through regular therapy.
2. Dental Hygienists
While most people are aware of the importance of following a regular oral care regime, only some of them stick to the schedule in a disciplined manner. Dental hygienists work with such people to offer preventive dental care and educate them about their specific oral hygiene needs. These professionals check and clean the teeth of their patients, besides diagnosing the presence or probability of oral disease and the ways to prevent them.
3. Medical Assistants
Considered to be the busiest of all allied healthcare professionals, medical assistants might be required to handle both administrative and clinical tasks. The exact nature of their responsibilities depends on their employer, as well as the location and size of the clinic. This is why the training program at any renowned college for a medical assistant includes a clinical internship to help trainees gain practical experience.
4. Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacy technicians are in demand to help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers, as well as healthcare professionals. These technicians are expected to possess an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology and drug administration. In addition, they should be well versed with the various aspects of drug classification and pharmacy management.
5. Speech-Language Pathologists
These special professionals work closely with patients suffering from communication and swallowing disorders. They evaluate and diagnose the problems faced by such patients, and offer a therapeutic solution to help them overcome the same. There is a growing demand for these professionals in public school systems, as well as in clinics offering assistance to people recovering from strokes. There are also other interesting professional paths that these allied health care professionals can pursue.
6. Surgical Technologists
As the name suggests, surgical technologists help the doctors and surgeons while performing operations and other medical procedures. Their responsibilities include preparing the operating room prior to surgery, by arranging the tools in a proper manner and sterilizing the room, equipment, and surgical tools. They also prepare the patients for the procedure and observe the vital signs during surgery, besides reviewing the charts and assisting the doctors and nurses.
7. Clinical Laboratory Technologists
Also known as medical technologists, these healthcare professionals perform various tests and analyses that play a vital role in proper diagnosis and treatment of various health issues. They review and analyze various body fluids, cells, and tissues to detect the presence of a wide range of parasites, bacteria, and viruses etc. They also analyze blood samples to determine the level of drugs, count cells and look for any abnormalities.
8. Nutritionists And Dieticians
There has been a growing awareness of the important role played by proper diet and nutrition, in ensuring the overall well-being of an individual. It is really not surprising that an increasing number of people are seeking the advice and guidance of qualified nutritionists and dieticians to lead an active and fit life. These professionals help their patients to attain specific fitness objectives by advising them about the right foods to eat.
9. Physician Assistants
These allied healthcare professionals offer medical care services to patients under the guidance of a licensed doctor. They attend college to get trained in various aspects of administering preventive health care, along with diagnostic and therapeutic services. They might be charged with the responsibility of being the primary medical care providers in rural or remote areas, where the constant presence of a fully qualified doctor is not possible.
10. EMTs And Paramedics
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are the first responders at an accident site and offer emergency medical care to sick and injured people. These professionals are always on the go, and often need to work under extremely stressful conditions. However, they can play a vital role in minimizing casualties at an accident site.