Careers in Allied Health

Allied health is the term for the area of healthcare (and health care professions) that provide support and care services other than specific doctoring and nurse care. At times, the line between allied health and "non-allied health" may seem to be separated by level of degree/education, although this isn't always true.

Allied health career paths can be divided into general roles like diagnostic (testing to see what's wrong), technical (taking care of technology aspects), therapeutic (moving the patient toward healing) and direct patient care (caring for the patient in other ways), although there is some overlap in a few roles. There are a few hundred potential jobs and dozens of potential settings that one could work in.

The career field is important for several reasons. First, the care and support that allied health professionals provide is integral to the heath care system. In addition it's estimated that these professionals make up more than half of the entire health care field. This representation within the industry shows how very important the various roles are.

In this course, we will 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.

The last unit will then include several activities that allow the student to seriously engage with their career exploration and selection.


  • learn about allied health careers, academic preparation, lifestyle, skills needed, licensing and credentialing, employment potential, and continuing education.
  • explore ethical and legal challenges in the healthcare field.
  • understand the role of allied health care professionals in the overall health care environment and the importance of teamwork in patient care.
  • examine the importance of cultural, social, and ethnic diversity in the healthcare workforce and environment.
  • learn legal/regulatory guidelines addressing patient and medical information and understand the issues related to confidentiality.
  • learn about safety measures and regulatory requirements.


Since this course leans heavily on reporting and research, students should already know how to choose appropriate resources (especially online), and how to properly cite those resources.

Supplies and resources:

2-4 pieces of poster board/large paper (or graphics/drawing software) Access to newspaper/media archives 2-5 Paper plates Drawing tools Suggested: Copy of the book "Alex, the Life of a Child" by Frank DeFord

State: National, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: Health Science
Course Length: Semester