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Working in the Allied Health Professions

Healthcare comes in many different forms, and so do the people who provide it. Read on to find out more.

What are Allied Health Professionals?

Allied Health Professionals are people who provide healthcare treatments, but are not medical doctors, dentists, nurses, dentists or pharmacologists. Allied Health Professionals include:

Allied Health Care Professionals might be based in the community and health clinics as well as in hospitals and normally work in teams with each other to treat and support patients, alongside dealing with doctors and nurses as well as other professionals like psychologists and social workers. For example, an elderly person who has a fall might be seen by a doctor before being referred to a physiotherapist and occupational therapist, and someone with a mental health problem might be treated by an art therapist with advice from a psychologist and social worker.

How do I get into the Allied Health Professions?

To become an Allied Health Professional you will normally need to study a degree course in your chosen area before registering with the Health Professionals Council. Some professions might also require you to study a postgraduate course, although people who already have a degree in a related subject like biology or sports and exercise science might be able to do a conversion course.  Entry onto an allied health course at university normally requires you to have good A-levels or equivalent, including at least one science subject. The NHS provides bursaries and other financial support for students studying certain approved courses.

However, although you need a degree to become a registered Allied Health Professional, there are other options to work in these different areas of healthcare without going to university. Physiotherapists, dietitians and speech and language therapists all work with assistants who support their work, and you could get an assistant job by doing an apprenticeship in health and social care or studying for a relevant BTEC or HND while doing work experience.

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