With the complexity and sophistication of medical treatment today, it takes more than one physician to provide patient care. Instead, a whole team of allied health professionals work together in the chain of patient diagnosis, treatment, and care. Allied health professionals perform a number of clinical and administrative tasks, which aid in the patient’s overall care experience.
Some allied health workers, such as ultrasound technicians or EKG technicians, are trained to do diagnostic work. These workers utilize technology to shed light on a patient’s internal state, in order to help doctors come up with an accurate diagnosis. Others, such as medical or physician assistants, provide support to physicians in direct patient care. They also work under the direction of doctors to perform clinical tasks.
The training and certifications you’ll need to enter an allied health career will depend on the title you want and the level of patient interaction you will have. Many diagnostic careers require an associate’s degree, while roles involving more clinical work, such as physician assisting, require a master’s degree. In certain careers, it may be necessary to earn a state license or professional certification in order to secure a job.
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