Allied Health

Advisor: Dr. Barry Rhoades 
brhoades@wesleyancollege.edu

Career Description

Allied health encompasses a broad group of health professionals who use scientific principles and evidence-based practice for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of acute and chronic diseases, who promote disease prevention and wellness for optimum health, and who support other health care providers in delivering care. The scope of allied health practice extends to the individual, the family, the community, and to public education. Many allied health professions specialize in the promotion of optimum health and the improvement of health-related quality of life. In addition, heath care administration and health systems management are important components of allied health. Professions that are often listed as “allied health” include many of the well-known non-nurse, non-physician health care providers including audiologists and speech language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and respiratory therapists, diagnostic medical personnel including medical technologists, imaging specialists, nutritionists, dietitians, and physician assistants.  

Becoming an Allied Health Professional 

Allied health professions fall into three broad categories: technicians (assistants), therapists and technologists. Technicians are trained to perform procedures, and their education lasts less than two years. They are required to work under the supervision of technologists or therapists. Cardiovascular technicians, ophthalmic medical technicians, and medical assistants are examples of careers in this category. The educational process for therapists (including physician assistants and physical therapists) or technologists (including audiologists and  athletic trainers) is more intensive and includes acquiring procedural skills, learning to evaluate patients, diagnose conditions, develop treatment plans, and understand the rationale behind various treatments in order to judge their appropriateness and potential side effects. Generally, therapists/technologists require an undergraduate degree and additional post-baccalaureate and/or graduate education. 

Coursework

Because of the diversity of allied health professions, it is best to consult the specific requirements at the graduate school of your choice. Consult with Wesleyan's Pre-Allied Health Profession Advisor, Dr. Barry Rhoades, to verify the coursework plan that is right for you. A diversity of undergraduate majors are possible for students choosing to pursue a pre-allied health concentration; common courses for a variety of professions include the following: 

Course and Semester Hours

  • General Biology  8 hours
  • General Chemistry  8 hours
  • Anatomy and Physiology  8 hours
  • Research Methods  4 hours
  • English  6 hours
  • Statistics  3 hours
  • Ethics  3 hours
  • Psychology  3 hours
  • Healthcare Administration  3 hours

 

Depending on the allied health profession, additional courses might include:

biochemistry, child psychology, cognitive psychology, data analysis management, microbiology, molecular cell biology, organic chemistry, physics, principles of neuroscience, psychology, abnormal psychology.

 
Sample Coursework Plan*
YEAR ONE Fall Semester YEAR ONE Spring Semester
BIO 110 BIO 112
Gen Ed Electives / PSY 101 Gen Ed Electives
WISE 101 MAT 220
MAT 160 Foreign Language
Foreign Language -
YEAR TWO Fall Semester YEAR TWO Spring Semester
CHM 101 CHM 102
BIO 203 Gen Ed Electives/ENG 221
GEN ED ELECTIVES/ENG 111 Major Coursework
Major Coursework PHI 223
YEAR THREE Fall Semester YEAR THREE Spring Semester
BIO 210 BIO 211
PDE Major Coursework/Gen Ed
Major Coursework/Gen Ed Electives/PDE
Electives HCA 308
YEAR FOUR Fall Semester YEAR FOUR Spring Semester
Major Coursework Major Coursework
Gen Ed Electives Gen Ed Electives


* Consult the requirements for courses specific to your desired allied health profession


Four Year Timeline

First Year  
  • Discuss with first year seminar advisor the courses to be taken during the first year. 
  • Attend meeting with pre-allied health advisor to obtain more information
  • Consult the Association of Allied Health Professions website for information www.asahp.org/what-is
  • Make draft of coursework and internship plans for next four years

Second Year
  • FALL: Finalize coursework plan and internship plan with advisor
  • SPRING: Inquire about internship opportunities with allied health professionals
  • Plan for an internship/PDE

Third Year
  • FALL: Familiarize yourself with all requirements and deadlines for each school to which you are applying
  • Identify prospective references, begin work on essay, begin work on application
  • Engage in an internship/PDE in your area of interest
  • Prepare for the graduate exam required for your school of interest
  • SPRING: Take the graduate exam required for your school of interest
  • Engage in an internship/PDE in your area of interest
  • Continue to maintain a competitive GPA

Fourth Year
  • FALL: Apply Early – Deadlines vary, depending on the school, so pay close attention to all instructions and send your application well in advance of the deadline. 
  • Prepare for interviews
  • Finish Strong

 

Additional Resources for Allied Health Students

The resources below may be helpful for students preparing for a career in health care. The Center for Career Development can help students with deciding which path fits them, as well as with strategic career planning, creating resumes/CVs, writing personal statements, and more.

ExploreHealthCareers.Org

This site is designed to help students begin their journey towards a career in the health professions. It provides exploration tools and career information on fields including dentistry, medicine, allied health, veterinary medicine, and more. Website

Professional Associations

Professional associations in any given field often have many resources for students considering that field, including scholarships, networking, career advice, and testing information. To find relevant professional associations, simply search “professional association + [job title/industry].”

Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions

This organization’s mission is to advance the allied health professions. Website

Gaining Relevant Experience as a Pre-Allied Health Student

Depending on your field, it is likely important to gain relevant work, volunteer, or observation experience. The Center for Career Development can help you prepare a resume and practice your professional introduction as you get ready to contact organizations about shadowing, volunteer, or internship opportunities.

Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)

A free summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. SHPEP is exclusively for freshman and sophomore college students. Applications are usually due in early February. Website

PathwaysToScience.org

This organization’s mission is to increase diversity in STEM fields by connecting underrepresented students with opportunities. It provides a list of clinical and research opportunities, links to enrichment programs, and more. Website

 

Local/Statewide Opportunities

  • The most common way to gain observation experiences is to contact an organization directly. You can start by using Purple Briefcase to find sites where students have interned or shadowed in the past.
  • Volunteer at Navicent Health. The screening process takes some time, so start early. 
  • Volunteer at a local health clinic, such as the Macon Volunteer Clinic.
  • Work or volunteer at a hospice facility or nursing home. Many hospice centers around Macon (including Encompass Hospice, Heart of Georgia Hospice, and Pine Pointe Hospice) have expressed a need for volunteers and interns. Check Purple Briefcase, GivePulse, and the organization’s website for updated information. You may need to obtain a CNA license.
  • Use GivePulse to find an updated list of local organizations needing volunteers.

 

 

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