Allied Medical fields encompass the work of those who serve in health care. Some of the many health related professions requiring post baccalaureate programs include:
1. Anesthesiologist Assistant
Also known as an anesthetist, an anesthesiologist assistant functions as a specialty physician assistant under the direction of an anesthesiologist developing and implementing anesthesia care working primarily in medical centers. The postbaccalaureate programs are approximately 24 months. Prerequisites usually require an undergraduate pre-med or nursing background.
2. Athletic Training
Athletic trainers in consultation with physicians are an integral part of the health care system associated with physical activity and sports. The athletic trainer provides a variety of services including injury prevention, assessment, immediate care, treatment and rehabilitation after physical injury or trauma. Applicants for postbaccalaureate programs should have a degree that includes pre-med courses and clinical experience. Programs are often 24 months. Almost all states require that athletic trainers hold the Athletic Trainer Certified credential.
Counseling is the art of helping people grow and can include career counseling, college counseling, community counseling, gerontological counseling, marital and family counseling, mental health counseling, and school counseling among others. Graduate education and prerequisites vary substantially.
Dietetics is the science of applying food and nutrition to health. Clinical registered dietitians work in medical centers, nursing homes, and other health care facilities, Community registered dieticians work in public and home health agencies, day care centers and health clubs, educator registered dieticians work at colleges and universities. Others work for the government or in food and nutrition related industries. Post baccalaureate programs vary from 6 months to 2 years and prerequisites vary depending on the program.
5. Medical Librarian
Medical librarians are information professionals who specialize in health resources and provide medical information for physicians, allied health professionals, patients, consumers, businesses and students. Programs are 1 to 2 years and often result in a master’s degree. Prerequisites include a bachelor’s degree in any field and a master of library and information science degree from an American Library Association accredited school.
Many accelerated BSN (1 to 2 year), graduate and PhD programs are available for students with science or pre-med backgrounds.
7. Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists practice the therapeutic use of everyday life activities with individuals or groups for the purpose of participation in roles and situations in home, school, community and the workplace. Postbaccalaureate programs leading to a master’s degree are generally 2½ years. Individuals take a national certification exam upon completion. Prerequisites vary among programs.
8. Physical Therapy
Physical therapists work individually with patients to improve strength and mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit further disabilities. They work closely with health care practitioners and patient’s families. Career opportunities are expected to increase as the “baby boom” generation ages. Physical therapy curriculums vary however 3 to 4 years is common.
9. Physician Assistant
Assistants to primary care physicians who are academically and clinically prepared to practice medicine with the direction and responsible supervision of a physician. The majority of PAs are working in solo and group practices, for hospitals or for the government. The lengths of programs vary but 25 to 27 months is most common.
10. Speech Language Pathologist
Speech pathologists work with people who cannot make speech sounds or cannot make them clearly, those with speech rhythm or fluency problems, such as stuttering, people with voice quality problems, those with hearing loss, and others with speech and/or language impairment in order to develop auditory skills and improve communication. Graduate (2 ½ years) and PhD programs are available. Employment of speech pathologists are expected to increase for the next several years due to more frequent recognition of problems in pre-school children combined with an increase number of the elderly.