Allied Health Careers


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  • This is a question we all hear many times in our youth. For most of us the answer changes many times depending on what we are interested in at that moment. As members of HOSA, you are obviously interested in careers in health care. Good choice! As we’ll learn today, health care is an expanding, exciting, high-tech, high-touch, and high-excitement field, with a wide range of careers for every personality.
  • Young children aspire to become like the people that they are most familiar with. They do not consider what is required to achieve that career.
  • Now you’re in high school, and getting closer to answering that burning question, “What do you want to do with your life?” The question becomes more complicated as you begin to learn what’s required to achieve the type of career you’re considering. As you learn more, you may realize that there are obstacles that would make you consider doing something different.
  • The answers to these questions can sometimes change your plans. You may find that the career you were thinking of won’t work for you.
  • When young people think about health care as a career they often focus on the most traditional, visible roles: Doctor and nurse.
  • Becoming a doctor is the epitome of being a health professional, and medicine is a very rewarding profession. The educational and training process is lengthy and challenging, and physicians are expected to practice life-long learning and keep up to date with the many changes in medical practice. A move is afoot to increase the number of medical school positions by 15%, which may make entrance into medical school a little easier.
  • Like medicine, nursing is a noble and rewarding career, and and there is no doubt that we need more of them. Because of a nationwide shortage of nurses, many hospitals have openings and offer educational assistance/hiring bonuses. For many years it was considered the only role for women in health care. Thankfully that has changed. and more men are choosing this career path (for example: “Meet the Parents,” starring Ben Stiller). The three major educational paths to registered nursing are: associate degree in nursing (ADN), about 2-3 years’ length bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN), 4 years diploma (offered in hospitals), 2 to 3 years
  • As you see here, the allied health professions (30.4%) make up nearly one third of the health care workplace, plus another one third for administrative and support services (34.9%). By comparison, physicians are a mere 4.1% sliver of the pie.
  • If you are a ‘hands on’ person who likes working with tools or someone interested in sports and fitness, you are probably a ‘doer’. These types of professions might appeal to you.
  • Artists are creative and imaginative. They like to work with pictures, music, or dance. These are some allied health careers that would require an artist’s talents.
  • Many of the allied health professions are high-touch and involve intense one-on-one interaction with patients.
  • Are you observant and curious? Do you love science and math? Never miss an episode of CSI? One of these professions could be for you!
  • Do you like people? Do you want to help people deal with issues and challenges in their lives? Are you interested in what makes someone tick and how people interact with others? One of these professions could be for you!
  • For those interested in the intersection of technology and health care, a career in health information management could be rewarding. Health care is notoriously behind the times in all things high-tech. Moving health records from paper to electronic formats is a key challenge for professionals in this field.
  • Here’s a small sample of what’s out there in allied health…
  • I am here today as a representative of HPN. I am here because all of you are obviously interested in a health care career. I am here to let you know there are other very rewarding health professions other than doctors and nurses. I hope I’ve piqued your interest and that you will look into some of the options that are available to you.
  • Allied Health Careers

    1. 1. What is allied health? What’s in it for me? Health Professions Network
    2. 2. The Health Professions Network <ul><li>The HPN is a group of volunteers representing health professional associations interested in interdisciplinary communication, discussion, and collaboration, working to positively influence the delivery of quality health care. </li></ul>
    3. 3. HPN History <ul><li>The initial meeting to form the HPN was held in August 1995 in Norfolk, VA. </li></ul><ul><li>Ten years later, the HPN continues to be a leading voice on behalf of all allied health professions as they come together and address the many challenges facing the US health care system. </li></ul>
    4. 4. What do you want to be when you grow up?
    5. 5. Little kids often say . . . <ul><li>Fireman </li></ul><ul><li>Policeman </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Pro Athlete </li></ul><ul><li>Doctor (pediatrician) </li></ul><ul><li>Nurse </li></ul>
    6. 6. But you’re not a kid any more . . . And it’s time to weigh your options for the future
    7. 7. How do I get there? (And where is “there” for me?) <ul><li>Do I need to go to college? </li></ul><ul><li>Which college offers what I need? </li></ul><ul><li>How long will I have to go to school? </li></ul><ul><li>How will I pay for my education? </li></ul><ul><li>Will it be easy to find a job? </li></ul><ul><li>How much will I get paid? </li></ul><ul><li>What will I be doing each day as a [blank]? </li></ul>
    8. 8. What about medicine or nursing?
    9. 9. Want to become a doctor? <ul><li>Very rewarding and honorable career </li></ul><ul><li>Lengthy and challenging education and training (4 yrs college, 4 yrs med school, 3 or more yrs residency) </li></ul><ul><li>Selective process (two applicants for every one medical school spot) </li></ul><ul><li>50% of med students are now women </li></ul><ul><li>Lifetime learning and maintenance of licensure and certification is expected </li></ul>
    10. 10. Want to be a nurse? <ul><li>With nationwide shortage of nurses, many hospitals have openings and offer educational assistance/hiring bonuses </li></ul><ul><li>More men are becoming nurses </li></ul><ul><li>Three major paths to becoming an RN (associate degree, diploma, bachelors) </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced opportunities include nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, and nurse-midwife </li></ul>
    11. 11. “Okay, so what other choices do I have for careers in the health care field?”
    12. 12. How about allied health? <ul><li>There are approximately 200 recognized allied health professions </li></ul><ul><li>Allied health professionals make up an estimated 60% of the US health care workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Almost all allied health professions are experiencing shortages—many greater than those in nursing </li></ul>
    13. 13. Allied health: Growing like a weed <ul><li>Seven of the top 10 fastest growing occupations, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: </li></ul><ul><li>Medical assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Physician assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Social and human service assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Home health aide </li></ul><ul><li>Medical records & health information technician </li></ul><ul><li>Physical therapist aide </li></ul><ul><li>Physical therapist assistant </li></ul>
    14. 14. But what is allied health?
    15. 15. Allied health professionals are health care practitioners with formal education and clinical training who are credentialed through certification, registration, and/or licensure.
    16. 16. Allied health practitioners work with physicians and other members of the health care team to deliver high-quality patient care services for identifying, preventing, and treating disease and disabilities.
    17. 17. They are essentially everyone working in health care other than doctors and nurses!
    18. 18. Allied health is big, very big Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
    19. 19. Some allied health professions may be familiar to you . . . <ul><li>Laboratory technician </li></ul><ul><li>Radiologic technologist </li></ul><ul><li>Physical therapist </li></ul><ul><li>Physician assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Dental hygienist </li></ul><ul><li>Dietitian </li></ul>
    20. 20. And some may not . . . <ul><li>Art therapist </li></ul><ul><li>Nuclear medicine technologist </li></ul><ul><li>Cytopathology technologist </li></ul><ul><li>Dosimetrist </li></ul><ul><li>Cardiovascular technologist </li></ul><ul><li>Health information administrator </li></ul><ul><li>Recreational therapist </li></ul>
    21. 21. Okay, how do I choose which career is right for me? <ul><li>Consider length of education, salary, job duties, current/future staffing needs </li></ul><ul><li>And think about your interests and your personality type. For example . . . </li></ul>
    22. 22. Are you a “doer?” <ul><li>Athletic trainer </li></ul><ul><li>Dental laboratory technician </li></ul><ul><li>Ophthalmic laboratory technician </li></ul><ul><li>Orthotist/prosthetist </li></ul><ul><li>Recreational therapist </li></ul>
    23. 23. Are you an artist? <ul><li>Art therapist </li></ul><ul><li>Dance therapist </li></ul><ul><li>Medical illustrator or photographer </li></ul><ul><li>Music therapist </li></ul>
    24. 24. Are you “touchy-feely?” <ul><li>Kinesiotherapist </li></ul><ul><li>Massage therapist </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational therapist </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational therapy assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Physical therapist </li></ul><ul><li>Physical therapist assistant </li></ul>
    25. 25. Are you an investigator? <ul><li>Medical laboratory technologist </li></ul><ul><li>Diagnostic molecular scientist </li></ul><ul><li>Histologic technician/technologist </li></ul><ul><li>Pathologists’ assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Clinical assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Cytogenetic technologist </li></ul>
    26. 26. Are you a people person? <ul><li>Community counselor </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic counselor </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage and family counselor/therapist </li></ul><ul><li>Mental health counselor </li></ul><ul><li>Rehabilitation counselor </li></ul><ul><li>School counselor </li></ul>
    27. 27. Are you into computers and technology? <ul><li>Health information administrator </li></ul><ul><li>Health information technician </li></ul>
    28. 28. These are just some examples, there are many, many more! <ul><li>Audiologist/speech language pathologist </li></ul><ul><li>Dental assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Diagnostic medical sonographer </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency medical technician-paramedic </li></ul><ul><li>Medical assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Phlebotomist </li></ul><ul><li>Physician assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Polysomnographic technologist </li></ul><ul><li>Radiation therapist/radiographer </li></ul><ul><li>Respiratory therapist </li></ul><ul><li>Surgical assistant </li></ul>
    29. 29. Health Professions Network (HPN) <ul><li>Is a loose collaboration of organizations involved in allied health </li></ul><ul><li>Is working to positively influence the delivery of quality health care </li></ul><ul><li>Brings individuals from a diverse group together to address common issues </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes allied health professions to the government and the public </li></ul>
    30. 30. Health Professions Network (HPN) <ul><li>Offers helpful information through its “Allied Health Profession of the Month” feature </li></ul><ul><li>Professions recently profiled include cytotechnology, magnetic resonance technology, surgical neurophysiology, and athletic training </li></ul>
    31. 31. Visit our Web site:
    32. 32. Other allied health info sources to check out . . . <ul><li>National Network of Health Careers Programs in Two-Year Colleges (NN2) </li></ul><ul><li>Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP) </li></ul><ul><li>Official Allied Health Organizations Site </li></ul>
    33. 33. Other allied health info sources to check out (continued). . . <ul><li>Careers in Allied Health: American Medical Association (AMA) </li></ul><ul><li>Also from the AMA: Health Professions Career and Education Directory , with information on 71 allied health professions and 6,900 educational programs, from 2-year degrees to PhD-level programs </li></ul>
    34. 34. Show me the money . . . <ul><li>The AMA has a site that shows salary information for the majority of allied health professions: </li></ul>
    35. 35. Keep track of allied health trends . . . <ul><li>Subscribe to a free monthly e-mail newsletter on all things allied health. For more information and archive issues, see: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    36. 36. 100 health careers for your exploration at “LifeWorks” <ul><li>The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Science Education offers information on more than 100 careers in the health and medical sciences: </li></ul>
    37. 37. State-level sources of info <ul><li>New York Health Careers: </li></ul><ul><li>My First Day (Minnesota and Virginia): </li></ul>
    38. 38. My tongue is tired -- any questions?