Allied health professionals are healthcare professionals different from nursing, dentistry, medicine, and midwifery. They offer a wide range of technical, diagnostic, supportive, and support services in association with medical health. These professionals include: registered nurses, physician assistants, psychotherapists, physical therapists, psychiatrists, and dental hygienists. In the United States, these professionals can be employed in hospitals, private practices, in rehabilitation centers, health agencies, school systems, the military, or in any other place where healthcare is needed.
Most allied health practitioners are employed in hospitals or in some type of health system for providing care to people suffering from various diseases or injuries. They are responsible for developing the health system of the community and for making sure that patients get access to health services when and where they need them. Professionals work at national level and are involved in all levels of medical education. However, most of them have their specialization, such as cardiology, oncology, neurology, pulmonology, radiology, and infectious disease. They receive specialized training and are able to perform clinical duties through direct supervision or working under the supervision of doctors.
There are various allied health professionals who work closely with doctors and nurses in hospitals or in community health centers. They can help patients in recovering from injuries or illnesses. These health professionals give personal support, educate the community about their conditions, arrange for appropriate therapy, refer patients to specialists, follow up with laboratory tests and assist doctors in diagnosis.
Allied health professionals who work in hospitals provide nursing care; however, care by a medical specialist is also provided by these professionals. Many allied health professionals work as registered nurses in nursing care units. Some of them may specialize in certain areas. The scope of their practice varies widely. However, they are assigned specific tasks by hospital staffs and doctors and may perform nursing care, administer medications, assist doctors in examining patients, perform physical therapy, administer medicines to patients, instruct patients concerning their medication, etc.
These allied health professionals are very useful in rural areas where access to doctors is difficult. They can be reached by phone or fax to set up a medication delivery program. In remote areas, there may not be an emergency room. In such cases, the professional will be able to recommend the right medication or doctor to take care of the patient.
These professionals work with a chief allied health officer or chief nursing officer. The DoH is the head of all medical service delivery in a country. The DoH is the statutory body that provides legal and regulatory support to all medical professionals. The DoH sets out quality standards and requirements of health workforce. The DoH also ensures that all allied health professionals are properly trained and have certification. All medical professionals and other allied health professionals who want to become a part of this service delivery system have to first undergo training.
The DoH also provides training for occupational therapists who are employed in long term care facilities, hospices, home health agencies, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, etc. Occupational therapists help patients suffering from disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, burns, post-operative problems, anxiety disorders, restless leg syndrome, etc. They can be licensed, registered, or certified in any particular specialty to serve the respective patients.
To serve the needs of a long term care facility or an individual suffering from a debilitating illness, Australia has developed many innovative clinical trials. Some of these clinical trials are funded by the federal and state government. With this investment, Australia is able to provide quality healthcare services to its citizens and facilitate recovery for an increasing number of its indigenous allied health practitioners and nurses. This marked improvement in medical services has led to an increase in quality of life, better healthcare for all, and increased quality of life for every patient. These developments have been largely contributed to by the DoH.