Allied health professionals provide diagnostic, technical, therapeutic, and direct patient care and support services critical to today's health care system.
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How to Prepare for a Career in Allied Health
As a successful allied health professional, you must understand medical terminology, acronyms, and spelling. You must also understand the basics of medical law, ethics, and human relations. Excellent communication and counseling skills are required, as well as computer literacy, in order to document health care information.
Growing Your Career in Allied Health
Choose from several career paths after you earn your allied health degree:
- Occupational Therapist
- Speech therapist
Depending on the specific profession, common courses in an allied healthcare degree program may include science studies in: nutrition, chemistry, biology, and physiology; as well as general culture courses, such as business, mathematics, statistics, psychology, sociology and economics. Health care is the second fastest growing industry in the United States so demand for professionals is expected to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), expect a 9% increase the number of dietitians in the allied health field through 2018, and a 26% increase in the number of occupational therapists. In May 2008, the median annual salary for dietitians was $50,590. The median annual salary for occupational therapists was $66,780.