Welcome to the A to Z of Allied Health — a regular blog series with a comprehensive focus on allied health professions: what they do, the populations they work with, the settings in which they work, and countries they are recognised in, as well as training levels and models, regulatory frameworks, workforce size, and much more.
Presently, there is no universal definition of allied health or exhaustive list of the professions that come under the ‘Allied Health’ umbrella. While there are some “core” professions that are well-established and professionalised (think physiotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy), there are newer professions emerging in response to changing population demographics and health needs (for example, Child health Therapy, Genetic counselling).
While Allied Health continues to expand and evolve, there’s a lack of awareness that comes with it. The lack of clarity around the term allied health and the many professions it comprises means the contribution of this large component of the workforce is under-recognised.
By profiling each profession week by week, we aim to highlight the diverse range of professions that make up allied health, as well as their key differences internationally.
We’ll be highlighting some of the smaller and under-recognised professions. In doing this, we hope to shed light on the full breadth of the contribution Allied Health makes to the health and social care workforce and increased its utilisation.
Although there is no definitive list of Allied Health professions, we have identified a set of core professions and will begin with these, with a view to developing a more comprehensive list.
Highlighted allied health professions
Here’s a sampling of allied health professions/professionals we’ll be featuring in the coming weeks.
|Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners||Audiologists||Acupuncturists|
|Allied health assistants||Arts therapists||Athletic trainers|
|Cardiovascular technologists||Child life therapists||Chinese Medicine Practitioners|
|Dental hygienists||Developmental educators||Diabetes educators|
|Dietitians and nutritionists||Dramatherapists||Emergency medical technicians (EMT)|
|Exercise physiologists||Genetic counsellors||Guidance counsellors|
|Health administrators||Health educators||Health information management practitioners|
|Lactation consultants||Medical physicists||Music therapists|
|Occupational therapists||Optometrists||Oral health therapists|
|Orthoptists||Orthotists and Prosthetists||Osteopaths|
|Radiographers||Respiratory therapy technologists||Social workers|
|Sonographers||Speech pathologists / speech and language therapists|
We will begin by featuring a few of the smaller and lesser-known allied health professions, such as pedorthists, music therapists and child life therapists. Where possible, we will feature the allied health profession during its week of recognition or promotion (e.g., October 27th – World Occupational Therapy Day will include a spotlight on occupational therapists).
If you have questions or if you wish to share your experiences as an AHP, please leave a comment below.
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