Allied health professionals

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  • Updated.jpg 19 April 2016


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Allied health professionals is a term used in health care to refer to a large group of health professionals (up to 60% of the workforce in hospitals and clinics) who are non-physicians. (See A to Z list below). Sometimes nurses and pharmacists are grouped under allied health but increasingly are referred to separately as a form of respect and in recognition of their unique role(s).

Due to their numbers, AHPs are considered central to the delivery of health services around the world and work in concert with physicians, nurses and pharmacists in delivery care to patients. Incidentally, the fields of medicine, dentistry and nursing are generally considered to have their own separate designations and are usually separated from the allied health categories. AHPs possess important special skills that they bring to the health care team including interpersonal, communication and counselling skills; computer literacy skills; the ability to document healthcare information; interviewing skills; proficiency in basic health informatics; database management and research. AHPs are involved in the delivery of health care for the identification, evaluation and prevention of diseases and disorders; dietary and nutrition services; rehabilitation and health systems management, among others. AHPs may include art therapists, dental hygienists, medical sonographers, dietitians, medical technologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, radiographers, respiratory therapists, and speech language pathologists. AHPs must adhere to national training and educational standards. Typically, they have their own professional scope of practice, and establish their credentials through diploma programs, certificate programs and continuing education.

Members of the AHPs must be proficient in using information technologies and conversant with evidence-based health care.

A to Z of allied health areas

  • Audiology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical science
  • Chiropractic
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Diagnostic medical sonography
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Paramedic
  • Exercise physiology
  • Health librarians
  • Kinesiotherapy
  • Medical Dosimetry (Dosimetrist)
  • Medical physics
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Medical radiation scientist (medical/cardiac sonographers, radiographers (x-ray, MR, CT, Nuclear Medicine), and radiation therapists)
  • Midwifery
  • Nuclear medicine technology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Occupational therapy
  • Operating Department Practitioners
  • Optometry
  • Orthotics and prosthetics
  • Orthoptist
  • Perfusionist
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical therapy and physiotherapy
  • Psychologist
  • Public health
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiography
  • Rehabilitation counseling
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Spiritual Care
  • Surgical Technologist
  • Social work
  • Ultrasound

See also Wikipedia entry on allied health professions


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