Careers in Allied Health
In Careers in Allied Health, the focus on select allied health careers, studying a variety of different levels, responsibilities, settings, education needs and amounts of patient contact. We will look at things like the degree or training needed for each job, the environment one would work in, how much money the position could make, and the facts of the actual working day.
Then, within each job group, we will explore important aspects that are applicable to the entire field of allied health, such as behaving ethically, working as a team, keeping patients safe and free from infections and germs, honoring diverse needs of diverse patients, and following laws and policies.
- Unit 1: Introduction to Allied Health Careers: This unit looks at allied health careers and the allied health industry, including definition of the field and the role that professionals play in the health care field. The first lesson focused on the definition of some essential knowledge, particularly safety, ethics, and the law in the overall healthcare field. These themes were then repeated and applied to specific careers throughout the course. The themes of safety, ethics, diversity, and law are particularly important to this course. The second part of the unit focused on three interrelated careers, all of which have some connection with trauma and the emergency room, giving us a good opportunity to talk about things like blood and bodily fluids, personal protective equipment, and sterile areas.
- Unit 2: Art and Technology: The first part of this unit focuses on the ways that visual arts can contribute to the medical field. It's true that some students have both an artistic interest and a scientific interest. First, we cover the career of a medical illustrator, including aspects of training for the job. We then approach orthotics and prosthetics, and through this career, we first start seeing the therapeutic aspects and the support aspects of allied careers. Lastly, we venture outside the physical body and think about emotional health in relation to the work of art therapy. The second part of this unit focuses on even more diverse offerings. We cover the therapeutic work of a respiratory therapist, which includes the devastating disease of cystic fibrosis, and in the process learn a lot about how our lungs function. Then, we look at two diagnostic careers: the sonographer and the radiologic technician, the what, where, how and why for these careers. Then on to a new setting: the sleep clinic. The radiologic lesson enables us to delve further into safety concerns when it comes to x-ray radiation and other health threats inherent in the imaging lab.
- Unit 3: Exercise and Patient Evaluation: This unit focuses on general maintenance of health and the maintenance of health through diagnosis and treatment. The first half is heavily concerned with the physically manipulating the body in order to stay or get “fit” as we walked through three specific fitness careers. We concentrate on both why maintaining physical health in this way is important for the prevention of disease and why this is especially important for the medical professional, which sets an example and has a reputation that somewhat rests on the need to be viewed as healthy. The science of the muscle and obesity provide us with some new medical and scientific information. In the second half, the importance of early diagnosis and treatment is shown through careers that provide diagnosis of disorders involving several parts of the body. We also cover the anatomy of the ear, the nervous system, and talk more about the heart’s function.
- Unit 4: Health Informatics and Health Administration: This unit focuses on administration and information management. First, you learn there are plenty of jobs to be had in the health field that focus less on patient contact. Second, you learn how health quickly picks up technological innovations, such as those that are concerned with record keeping and information-gathering. Third, this unit provides a picture into the heavily bureaucratic hierarchy that is “over” the health care field and hospitals. You'll have to deal with and interface with this system should you eventually choose a healthcare career, even if it is not a direct part of your job.
- Unit 5: Counseling, Dietetics, and Choosing a Career in Allied Health: This unit first focuses your attention on some of the more scientific and research-oriented opportunities out there, specifically using the career field of genetics. First, you can see how some diseases and issues come from the genes. Second, you can use a very real and current situation to discuss medical ethics. The second part of the chapter takes our attention back to taking care of our bodies. This time we focus on nutrition and what we put into our bodies. Obviously, these chapters share the common theme of causes of disease and illness, and this information is important for your future career.