Each year, we celebrate Allied Health Professions Week during the first full week in November. In 2021, that is November 7–13. Sponsored by the Association of Schools of Advancing Health Professions (ASAHP), Allied Health Professions Week honors the nearly 7 million allied health professionals who significantly impact our health care system.
What are allied health professionals? Allied health professionals are involved with delivering health or related services to identify, evaluate, and prevent diseases and disorders; dietary and nutrition services; rehabilitation; and health systems management. Allied health professionals significantly influence our healthcare system, providing diagnostic evaluation, treatment for diseases and disorders, rehabilitation services, and the management and operation of our health systems. Individuals working as allied health professionals report high levels of job satisfaction both financially and personally.
Not only do many allied health professionals enjoy working with people and helping to ensure the good health of patients, but they have the opportunity to have a direct and significant impact on someone else’s life. Additionally, the healthcare industry is well-established and consistently growing, providing job security and opportunities for growth. In honor of Allied Health Professions Week, here’s the scoop on the importance of these individuals and how to show your appreciation.
The Importance of Allied Health Professionals
Estimates suggest that as many as 60 percent of healthcare professionals can be classified as allied health professionals. Examples include the following:
- Dental hygienists
- Diagnostic medical sonographers
- Medical technologists
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Respiratory therapists
- Speech–language pathologists
- And more
The importance of these individuals cannot be understated. Not only do they tend to be considered highly professional, patient-centered, and detail-oriented, but they are providing a necessary public service. The demand for healthcare professionals in the United States and worldwide is rapidly increasing due to the growing population. This is due to enhanced care for the elderly, the large group of baby boomers aging, and prolonged lifespans of men and women worldwide. In addition, there are rising rates of chronic diseases due to poor health and nutrition, more sedentary lifestyles, and exposure to toxins and pollutants.
Altogether, this points towards a rapidly growing need for additional healthcare personnel. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “healthcare occupations, primarily allied health professionals, are the fastest growing job segment with an expected 18% growth in the next eight years, or the creation of 2.4 million new jobs.” This statistic further solidifies the importance of, and growing need for, allied health professionals.
Show Your Support
Allied Health Professionals week is a great time to show your support for these individuals who have impacted your life. A stellar way to do this is to share content that highlights your local allied health professionals. Consider using one or all of the hashtags below to gather additional interest and recognition:
Another way to show your support is to thank the healthcare professionals in your community personally. Gather donations, make a card, or buy someone lunch. It truly goes a long way for many individuals, especially those who serve others every day for their profession. Additionally, this is an excellent opportunity to get to know your healthcare providers more personally, allowing them to serve you and your community in the future better.
The first full week in November is Allied Health Professionals Week, a time to honor the nearly 7 million individuals who work in one of these professions. It is essential to understand how fundamentally important these individuals are to every community around the nation. Do your part, educate yourself and those around you, and show your support.