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NHM Health Focus: Allied Health Professions

November 2009

Allied Health Careers -
Government and Professional Organizations

- Health Occupations (NIH)
- LifeWorks (NIH, OSE)
- Snap Shots: People Doing Science (NIH, OSE)
- Allied Health Profession of the Month (HPN)

Allied Health Careers - Commercial sites
- HealthCareerWeb
- MedCareers

Allied Health Organizations
- Allied Health Professional Organizations (ASHAP)

Accrediting Agencies
- Allied Health Accrediting Agencies (AMA)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
- Careers and Certifications (CAAHEP)

Emergency Medical Technicians, Physical and Occupational Therapists are among the more familiar of the many allied health professionals involved in our recovery from injury and disease.

Other examples of the more than 100 allied health professions include:

  • Art Therapist - uses the creative process of art to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well being of individuals of all ages
  • Athletic Trainer -works with athletes and other to prevent, recognize, manage and rehabilitate injuries that result from physical activity.
  • Audiologist - specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of hearing, central auditory processing, and balance disorders. They work in schools, hospitals, businesses, in private practice, in universities, research laboratories, and government agencies.
  • Cytotechnologist - works in hospital and research laboratories examining human cell samples under the microscope, looking for early signs of cancer and other diseases.
  • Health Information Manager - maintains, collects,, and analyzes health information needed by doctors, nurses, and other providers as they perform their jobs.
  • Medical Appliance Technician - constructs, fits, maintains, or repairs medical supportive devices, such as braces, artificial limbs, joints, arch supports, and other surgical and medical appliances.
  • Medical Illustrator - creates visual material to help record and disseminate medical, biological and related knowledge. Medical artists are employed in hospitals, clinics, dental schools, and schools of veterinary medicine.
  • Music Therapist - provides treatment for physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs of individuals through the structured and specialized use of music. They assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses.
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist - works nuclear medicine physician to :prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals, perform patient imaging procedures, analyze biologic specimens, and provide images, data analysis, and patient information to the physician.
  • Respiratory Therapist, - works with anesthesiologists to monitor patients’ breathing during surgery, helps diagnose sleep disorders like apnea or works one-on-one with patients in home health care environments. Some RTs are “first responders” who provide emergency care to people with lung injuries from fires or other disasters.

For an interesting look at how some of these professionals can make a difference in our lives, visit Allied Health Professional Story, an educational tale about a child involved in a bicycle accident and the allied health professionals involved in his recovery.

For additional examples of health professions please visit the Web sites listed under Allied Health Careers in the box above.

For those interested in an allied health career, or for those still undecided, LifeWorks™, an interactive career exploration web site for middle and high school students, is a good place to begin career exploration. Users can browse for information on more than 100 medical science and health careers by title, education required, interest area, or median salary. LifeWorks contains factual career data. In addition, true stories of successful people illustrate a variety of real-life career pathways, from the carefully planned to the unpredictable. The associated "Career Finder" can be used to generate a customized list of careers especially suited for users' skills and interests.

Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum has these resources related to allied health careers:

Health Headquarters: Question of the Week - Health Care Careers
Health Headquarters NHM Health Focus - School Nurses
Resource Center: Career Center - Career Profiles
Resource Center: Career Center - BIO Career Guide Information
Resource Center: About Biotech - Science Career Projects
Resource Center:About Biotech - Careers in Life Science
Resource Center: About Biotech - On Becoming a Scientist
Let's Collaborate: Teaching and Learning - Careers in Nutrition
Let's Collaborate: Technology in Education - Energene

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