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Purpose and Mission
Allied health professions are distinct from nursing, medicine and dentistry. Over 200 million health services are delivered by allied health professionals annually. They work with people of all ages and backgrounds and make a significant difference in improving their lives. Allied health practitioners work closely with doctors and nurses in a range of rewarding and diverse environments including hospitals, aged-care facilities, mental health centres, rehabilitation centres, community health centres, medical clinics, private clinics, and chemists.
Midwives are healthcare professionals who specialise in assisting women during childbirth, and with antenatal care, post-natal care and newborn health care.
Most allied health professionals report to a head nurse or lead doctor, although the chain of command varies depending on the type of nurse and facility. Midwives tend to work independently and may not have a direct supervisor.
More educated and experienced allied health professionals may have some supervisory responsibilities in terms of managing less-experienced members of the healthcare team.
Most allied health professions require training of one to two years, typically leading t a diploma or an associate’s degree.
Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) is the recognised body representing allied health professions in Australia. Most allied health professionals must be registered with theAustralian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) in order to practise in Australia. This applies to those that are trained in Australia as well as overseas.
Responsibilities of Allied Health Professionals
Employment opportunities continue to grow within the allied health field due to Australia’s ageing population and greater awareness of issues surrounding health and well-being. Allied health careers include:
· Sonographers· Radiographers· Physiotherapists· Psychologists· Occupational Therapists· Dieticians· Pharmacists· Paramedics· Chiropractors· Dietitians· Optometrists· Occupational Therapists· Orthoptists /Prosthetists· Osteopaths· Podiatrists· Psychologists· Social Workers· Speech Pathologists· Massage Therapists· Naturopaths· Chinese Medicine Practitioners· Radiation Therapists
Allied health professionals are passionate about helping save lives, about helping people improve their quality of life, and educating the general public on relevant health issues and best practices. Along with doctors and nurses, allied health professionals are considered the third pillar of health care providers in Australia.
Key Facts about Allied Health Specialists
According to the National Health Workforce Data Set, there are approximately 126,788 registered allied health specialists that provide direct care to consumers across public, private and not-for-profit sectors. This list represents the number of registered allied health practitioners as of 2012: