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There are more than just doctors and nurses in the healthcare sector!

Recently a close friend of mine was not in good health and had to stay in the hospital. Despite the suddenness of the stay, she remained optimistic and began to observe the personnel attending to her. The educator in her observed that there are many different roles working in a hospital and we remarked how true that we are not as aware of the other roles other than the nurses and doctors.

So I decided to find out more and there are so many specializations created to understand more about our body. After reading the site, a doctor is a very general term as there are very specific names for the different specialization. 

For this post, I will explore the Allied Health Professionals. They play vital roles in the different aspects of investigative work and therapeutic care for patients. (Taken from Allied Health Professionals - SingHealth). I decided to group the roles based on the over-arching nature of the jobs however this is only my own form of interpretation. 

IAEA Imagebank

Technologist (operates specialised equipment to provide scans and assist with diagnosis through the scans and report) 

  • Medical / Laboratory technologist: conducts diagnostic laboratory tests.  
  • Imaging Technologist/Sonographer: performs ultrasound examinations.
  • Medical Physicist: estimates the dose equivalence of patients undergoing radiological examination and are responsible for investigating radiation exposure to staff and patients.
  • Radiographer: perform radiographic procedures, makes use of quality images for radiological interpretation to help diagnose or treat patients’ conditions.
  • Perfusionist: operate and maintain heart-lung machines, blood analysis equipment and other accessory equipment to ensure safe surgeries. 
Therapist (works with patients and uses a particular form of therapy to improve their physical, mental or emotional well-being)
  • Art Therapist:  improve patients’ well-being through art therapy.
  • Child Life Therapist: empower young patients with coping skills through therapeutic play.
  • Music Therapist: musical interventions to build therapeutic relationships with patients.​
  • Occupational Therapist: ensures that patients regain their independence in the activities of daily living, self-care, employment and leisure. 
  • Oral Health Therapist: maintain patients’ oral health.
  • Physiotherapist: help patients optimise their mobility through exercises to build muscle strength and relieve pain.
  • Radiation Therapist: treat cancer patients using radiation treatment.
  • Respiratory Therapist: assist with the management of artificial airways and help patients, especially those on ventilators, to breathe better by monitoring their breathing.
  • Speech Therapist: assess and manage swallowing and communication disorders in adults and/or children.
  • Psychologist: assess patients’ wellbeing and use therapy to help patients cope with their medical or psychological condition.
 Skilled personnel who deal with disorder at a specific body part
  • (Ear) Audiologist: provide treatment of hearing, balance, and other auditory disorders for people of all ages. 
  • (Eye) Optometrist: provide an accurate measurement of any refractive anomalies and delivers quality vision care. 
  • (Eye) Orthoptist: assess the misalignment of the eyes (squints) and assists in the diagnosis of eye muscle disorders. 
  • (Feet) Podiatrist: diagnose and treat conditions in the legs and feet.
Skilled personnel who work with patient care 
  • Medical Social Worker:  provide psychosocial care and support to patients and their families through interventions such as psychotherapy, supportive counselling, grief counselling, financial assistance, and linking them up to relevant community resources and support.

  • Pharmacist: optimise drug therapy for patients through the review of indications, dosages, drug interactions, side effects, cost and possible non-compliance of medication.

  • Dietitian: provide nutrition therapy to patients through nutrition education and design nutrition care plans for patients.

I am not sure you are surprise but the truth is, usually we see a lot of personnel during the course of our treatment at the hospital and some may be there longer or shorter depending on our needs.  In the next post, I hope to share on how you can train to be one of them. Stay tuned.  

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