What is the Difference Between a Healthcare Worker and an Allied Health Care Worker?

Allied Health Care Worker

Health care workers are professionals who play a critical role in diagnosing and treating injuries and health disorders. They include professionals like physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, and emergency specialists. On the other hand, allied health care workers collaborate with medics to assist patients in recovering from injuries and health disorders.

They are not the main players within conventional medicine. Some of the services patients receive in allied health clinics include physiotherapy, exercise physiology, and remedial massage. Allied health care is different from traditional medicine. You can check out Movement 101 for allied health care services, including physiotherapy, athletic training, therapeutic massage, general fitness, and podiatry.

What is the Main Difference?

Health care workers are heavily involved in the dentistry, nursing, and medicine disciplines, as they focus on diagnosing and treating ailments. Health care providers typically receive general training to guarantee efficiency in diagnosing and treating illnesses.

Allied health care workers are mostly involved in preventing ailments and fast-tracking recovery from injuries and health disorders. Allied health care workers receive extensive training, and they are experts in specific areas.

When you think of jobs in allied health care, you don’t think of jobs like physicians, nurses, or dental surgeons, but rather, you think of jobs like physical therapists, dieticians, and radiographers. The bulk of health care jobs in the US belong to the allied health sector.

Roles of Health Care Workers

Health care workers typically have health knowledge and can handle patients. They work together with other health care providers to diagnose illnesses and dispense treatment. The following are some of their roles:

  • Requiring tests and examining results: various health problems cannot be diagnosed manually. A physician might order a patient to undergo a test or tests, and then they analyze the results before diagnosis.
  • Recommending specialists: medics and nurses may have general medical knowledge, but they lack extensive training in a specific field. And so, if they find that a certain health disorder requires specialized treatment, they refer the patient to a specialist. This is extremely important in promoting recovery.
  • Forming treatment strategies: upon diagnosis of certain health problems, physicians may develop a treatment strategy that the patient is required to adhere to for them to recover. Physicians may monitor the patient to see whether there’s progress.
  •  Recording patients’ health history: one of the best accessories in diagnosing and treating illnesses is the medical history of the patient. Health care providers record this history to make it easy to diagnose and treat various health disorders.
  •  Dispensing medical advice: health care workers are knowledgeable on matters of health, and so, they are better placed to provide advice to patients and other people on how to avoid health issues and recovery from injuries and illnesses.

Roles of Allied Health Care Workers

Allied health care workers are not dental surgeons, physicians, or nurses, but they are occupational therapists, emergency specialists, and lab technologists. They play a critical role in the prevention and management of health disorders. The following are some of the roles of allied health care workers:

  •     Providing physiotherapy: physiotherapy is a method of curing health problems by using physical techniques. Physiotherapy may be popular for treating sports injuries, but it is useful in a wide range of areas. Some of the benefits of physiotherapy include getting rid of pain, enhancing balance, boosting mobility, and preventing lifestyle diseases.
  •  Providing diet-related services: what we consume plays a huge role in our health status. If we consume low-nutrient foods, our immune system may be compromised and open us up to infections. Allied health care workers, specifically dieticians, play a critical role in boosting health. Some of their functions include educating people about healthy eating, finding the dietary needs of people, and providing tips about changing diets.
  •  Assisting persons with physical disabilities: simply because a person is disabled doesn’t mean that they are a write-off. Persons with physical disabilities still need to perform certain activities to improve their health. Allied health care workers understand the needs of disabled people, and they help them lead their best lives.

How Health Care Workers and Allied Health Care Workers Collaborate

Healthcare workers and allied health care workers may have different roles, but the bottom line is that both these fields are essential in preventing and managing diverse health disorders. Allied health care professionals like oral hygienists, occupational therapists, and emergency room experts may not be as celebrated as physicians and nurses, but their input is massive.