Role of Allied Health Professionals in Healthcare Delivery System


Role of Allied Health Professionals
 in Healthcare Delivery System

A Description for Health Policy Makers

Muhammad Shoaib Akhtar
Gulab Devi Postgraduate medical Institute Lahore.

Allied Health sciences is an emerging filed, giving new dimensions to solve the challenges being faced by health services providing communities all over the world. Allied Health Sciences deals with all major departments of a hospital like Emergency, ICU, Laboratory, and Operation Theatre. Allied Health Professionals provide services in all concerned departments of medical sciences like Ophthalmology, Optometry, Pulmonology, Cardiology, Dentistry, Surgery & Pathology etc.

Like other countries, Allied Health Sciences are also present in Pakistan. The Universities  offering B.Sc (Hons.) Allied Health Sciences in Pakistan are University of Health Sciences Lahore, King Edward Medical University Lahore, Dow University of Health Sciences Karachi, Khyber Medical University Peshawar, Government College University Faisalabad, Superior University Lahore, University of Lahore, University of Management and Technology Lahore, The University of Faisalabad, Faisalabad, University of Punjab Lahore,  Ziauddin University Karachi, University of Sargodha and FC College Lahore (A Chartered University).

The degrees offered in Pakistan in Allied health Sciences are Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Optometry, B.Sc (hons.) Medical Laboratory Technology, B.Sc (Hons.) Medical Imaging Technology, B.Sc (Hons.) Emergency & Intensive care Sciences, B.Sc (Hons.) Cardiac Perfusion Technology, B.Sc (Hons.) Respiratory Therapy, B.Sc (Hons.) Operation Theatre Technology, B.Sc (Hons.) Vision Sciences, B.Sc (Hons.) Dental Technology, B.Sc (Hons.) Dental Hygeine, B.Sc (Hons.) Audiology, B.Sc (Hons.) Occupational Therapy, B.Sc (Hons.) Speech & Language Pathology, B.Sc (Hons.) Optometry & Orthoptics, B.Sc (hons.) Orthotics & Prosthetic, B.Sc (hons.) Nutrition, B.Sc (hons.) Biotechnology, B.Sc (Hons.) Clinical Pathology, B.Sc (Hons.) Critical Care and B.Sc (Hons.) Nuclear Medicine.

Physiotherapy: Physical therapy (or physiotherapy), often abbreviated PT, is a health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention carried out by physical therapists.

Optometry: Optometry is a health care profession. Optometrists are trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision, and to diagnose concerned with the health of the eyes and treat various eye diseases.

Medical Laboratory Technology: A medical laboratory scientist (MLS) (also referred to as a medical technologist or clinical laboratory technologist) is a healthcare professional who performs chemical, hematological, immunologic, microscopic, and bacteriological diagnostic analyses on body fluids such as blood, urine, sputum, stool, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, and synovial fluid, as well as other specimens. Medical laboratory scientists work in clinical laboratories at hospitals, doctor's offices, reference labs, and biotechnology labs.

Medical Imaging Technology: Medical imaging is the technique and process used to create images of the human body (or parts and function thereof) for clinical purposes (medical procedures seeking to reveal, diagnose, or examine disease) or medical science (including the study of normal anatomy and physiology).

Emergency & Intensive Care Sciences: Emergency medical services are a type of emergency service dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care, transport to definitive care, and other medical transport to patients with illnesses and injuries which prevent the patient from transporting themselves.

Cardiac Perfusion Technology: A perfusionist, also known as a clinical perfusionist or a cardiovascular perfusionist, is a specialized healthcare professional who uses the heart-lung machine during cardiac surgery and other surgeries that require cardiopulmonary bypass to manage the patient's physiological status.

Respiratory Therapy: Respiratory therapists educate, diagnose, and treat people who are suffering from heart and lung problems. Specialized in both cardiac and pulmonary care, respiratory therapists often collaborate with specialists in pulmonology and anesthesia in various aspects of clinical care of patients. Respiratory therapists provide a vital role in both medicine and nursing. Respiratory therapists are specialists in airway management; actively maintaining an open airway during management of trauma, intensive care, and may administer anesthesia for surgery or conscious sedation. Respiratory therapists often are in charge of initiating and managing life support for people in intensive care units and emergency departments, stabilizing and monitoring high risk patients being moved from hospital to hospital by air or ground ambulance, and administering inhaled drugs and medical gases such as asthma medication, oxygen, and anesthetic gases.

Operation Theatre Technology: A surgical technologist, also called "operating room technologist", is an allied health professional working as a part of the team delivering surgical care and manages operating rooms.

Vision Sciences: Vision Science is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye. A Vision Scientist is a specialist in medical and surgical eye problems. Since Vision Scientists perform operations on eyes, they are considered to be both surgical and medical specialists.

Dental Technology: A dental technologist is a member of the dental team who, upon prescription from a dental clinician, constructs custom made restorative and dental appliances.

Dental Hygiene: A dental hygienist is a dental professional who specializes in preventive oral health, typically focusing on techniques in oral hygiene.

Audiology: An audiologist is a health-care professional specializing in identifying, diagnosing, treating and monitoring disorders of the auditory and vestibular system portions of the ear, Aumanage and/or treats hearing or balance problems. They dispense hearing aids and recommend and map cochlear implants. They counsel families through a new diagnosis of hearing loss in infants, and help teach coping and compensation skills to late-deafened adults. They also help design and implement personal and industrial hearing safety programs, newborn hearing screening programs, school hearing screening programs, and provide dialogists are trained to diagnose, special fitting ear plugs and other hearing protection devices to help prevent hearing loss. In addition, many audiologists work as auditory scientists in a research capacity.

Occupational Therapy: An occupational therapist (OT) is trained in the practice of occupational therapy. The role of an occupational therapist is to work with a client to help them achieve a fulfilled and satisfied state in life through the use of "purposeful activity or interventions designed to achieve functional outcomes which promote health, prevent injury or disability and which develop, improve, sustain or restore the highest possible level of independence."

Speech & Language Pathology: Speech-Language Pathology professionals (Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), or informally speech therapists) specialize in communication disorders as well as swallowing disorders.

Orthoptics: Orthoptists are Eye care professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and management of binocular vision problems. Orthoptists are represented worldwide by the International Orthoptic Association.

Orthotics: Orthotics is a specialty within the medical field concerned with the design, manufacture and application of orthoses. An orthosis (plural: orthoses) is "an externally applied device used to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system“.

Prosthetics: In medicine, a prosthesis, prosthetic, or prosthetic limb (from Ancient Greek prosthesis, "addition, application, attachment") is an artificial device extension that replaces a missing body part.

Nutrition: A nutritionist is a person who advises on matters of food and nutrition impacts on health. Different professional terms are used in different countries, employment settings and contexts — some examples include: nutrition scientist, public health nutritionist, dietitian-nutritionist, clinical nutritionist, and sports nutritionist.

Biotechnology: Biotechnology (sometimes shortened to "biotech") is generally accepted as the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products, or "any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use”.

Clinical Pathology: Clinical pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Clinical analysis or Clinical/Medical Biology is a medical specialty that is concerned with the diagnosis of disease based on the laboratory analysis of bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissues using the tools of chemistry, microbiology, hematology and molecular pathology.

Critical Care: Intensive-care medicine or critical-care medicine is a branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and management of life threatening conditions requiring sophisticated organ support and invasive monitoring.

Nuclear Medicine: In nuclear medicine imaging, radiopharmaceuticals are taken internally, for example intravenously or orally. Then, external detectors (gamma cameras) capture and form images from the radiation emitted by the radiopharmaceuticals. This process is unlike a diagnostic X-ray where external radiation is passed through the body to form an image.

In short Allied Health Professionals can give services to hospitals, research organizations, medical and health service companies, rescue organizations, surgical manufacturing and suppliers, diagnostics, public and private sector health projects, WHO, UNESEF, USAID and to multiple NGOs present in market.

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