Allied health jobs make up a very significant proportion of the health care work force. While the sorts of professional that people typically link with healthcare are doctors, dentists and nurses, these professions make up less than half of that work force. The rest is made up of allied health care professions, among others, such as jobs in occupational therapy, or jobs in radiography, as well as pharmaceutical occupations, psychology, optometry, and many others.
It hasn’t always been this way. There was a day when doctors were expected to know what to do in almost any situation, and had to try and treat almost any condition in almost any patient. But, after the Second World War, the health industry began to diversify, to accommodate the shift towards local treatment by general practitioners and in emergency wards, as opposed to most diagnosis and treatment being performed in hospital. In addition, the quick progress of science had important implications for medical practices, and a greater level of specialisation amongst health care professionals started to flourish; as we understand more about the issues connected to well being, we are better able to provide support to people who suffer for a wide variety of reasons.
Patients were able to go to a certain specialist for a whole spectrum of health related issues. Even problems less related to health in the traditional sense, i.e. medicinal health, were included in a wider definition of the term, taking well being as a whole into consideration. So, issues related to poverty, lack of education, and so forth, in society as a whole began to find allied health solutions. Social workers and a range of different therapists began to be able to reach people whose problems had not been previously considered the domain of health care. Nowadays we have a deeper understanding of the potential role of health care in people’s lives.
The list of allied health jobs is ostensibly endless, and this is because in the modern world there are endless issues to deal with in society. So, although they might not be what you would normally associate with a career in healthcare, they do play a very important role, offering extremely diverse opportunities, across the board, from jobs in radiography to jobs in occupational therapy. In the modern world things change at such a fast pace. Healthcare has to keep up, and allied health plays a large part in this.
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