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How do I Choose the Best Allied Health School?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2016
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There are four items to consider when choosing an allied health school: programs offered, accreditation, inter-disciplinary learning opportunities, and job training. This type of school is usually part of a larger university. The programs available through an allied health school are all focused on health services that support people through illness and recovery. The allied health professional programs provide the training necessary for more than 60 percent of the health care industry careers.

The programs offered through an allied health school can be divided into three streams: diagnostic, therapeutic, or preventive. In the diagnostic stream, programs include ultrasound technology, cardiac sonography, and medical technologists. The therapeutic stream includes speech language pathology, audiology, and respiratory care. Preventive options include dietetics and nutrition, therapeutic science, and occupational therapy.

When looking for an allied health school, check the accreditation status. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent third party. Courses from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions, which is very important for programs that require certification or licensing. Only accredited schools are able to offer students access to government student aid programs.

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The benefit of an allied health school is the combination of a broad range of health services-related programs in one school. This structure allows for an increased amount of inter-disciplinary study and collaboration. Take advantage and learn as much as possible from these programs. Many of the programs have shared classes, as the mandatory courses are consistent for all health services programs. Use this opportunity to meet people from other programs and build a network of health services professionals.

Almost all allied health schools offer job placement opportunities. These programs are typically offered in the second or third year and provide connections to internships, cooperative, and job shadowing opportunities. The assignments are determined based on a combination of academic achievement and effort.

People who report the greatest satisfaction with allied health schools know they want to work in the health services sector, but are unsure which area of specialty is the most appealing. Having so many programs in the same school makes it easier to transfer into a different program in the second year, since many programs share courses in the first year. In addition, the administration and academic counselors are all knowledgeable about the options and requirements of related programs. This will help them to provide a more streamlined student support services model. Talk with your academic adviser to review the different options available.

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