Allied Health Professions Career Profile
Allied medical professionals are generally classified as any medical professionals, other than medical doctors or nurses, who have direct contact with patients in a clinical setting.
Most allied medical professionals are technicians or technologists of some sort. Medical assistants are also considered allied medical staff.
Allied healthcare professionals work in nearly all departments and specialties, including radiology, cardiology, and surgery. Most allied professionals will work at larger clinics or hospitals, but some may find jobs in doctor’s offices. Some techs also work in medical labs which also could be part of a large clinic or hospital facility.
Most allied health jobs require an Associate’s Degree, which is a 2-year program typically from a vocational or technical school, or community college. The specifics depend on the exact position you are seeking and what program you attend. Many schools offer flexible schedules to allow you to maintain a job while you are studying to be a medical technician. Therefore, you could complete your coursework in under two years, if you’re attending school full-time, or it could take you more than two years if you’re going part-time while holding a full-time job.
Duties and Responsibilities
Allied personnel typically have regular interaction with patients, so you should enjoy working with people to be in allied health. Also, as a technician or assistant, you will be working in a supportive role, assisting nurses and doctors with their work. Therefore you should be able to take direction well, and also work effectively as part of a medical team.
Most technologist or technician roles entail learning how to use a specific type of complex, high-tech equipment such as surgical equipment used during operations, or radiology equipment used to take scans and diagnose specific issues. Therefore, to be an effective and successful allied healthcare professional, you not only need to work very well with people, but also be comfortable with the highly specialized medical equipment. Your training program will train you thoroughly on the equipment you will need to operate in your role, but it will help if you already enjoy working with technology.
Schedule and Compensation
Typically, allied healthcare professionals work on a shift-based schedule, and therefore they are paid per hour or per shift, not on a set salary. The great thing about an hourly pay scale is that you can work as much as little as you like, and your compensation will reflect that. The downside is that some jobs will require that you work a minimum amount of shifts, usually about 40 hours or so at least unless the job you’re applying to is specifically a part-time role.
Again, pay is going to vary widely based on where you work, how much you work, and what level of experience you have. However, most allied professionals are going to earn somewhere between $30,000 – $60,000 annually, plus benefits.
Jobs in Allied Healthcare
Some examples of allied professionals are:
- Cardiovascular Tech
- Chemotherapy Technician
- Dialysis Technician
- EKG Technician
- Emergency Medical Tech (EMT)
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Lab Tech (MLT)
- Radiology Tech / X-Ray Tech
- Surgical Tech
- Ultrasound Technician (Sonographer)