HISTORY OF THE ALLIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONS
Many forces have shaped allied health care in the United States. Institutions such as hospitals and the government have been and will continue to have primary roles in the evolution of allied health care. As the allied health care system advanced in form and complexity, so did the growth in personnel and tasks. Prior to the 1900s there were three recognized allied health professions: the doctor, the dentist, and the nurse. Therefore your selection of a career in allied health care was very limited. Today there are over two hundred recognized allied health professions, with on the job training as short as several weeks, to some professions that have up to eight to twelve years of formal education. Allied health personnel are workers other than physicians and dentists who have specialized training in the performance of supportive allied health care tasks. They exist to generate and distribute research in allied health disciplines, promote interdisciplinary communication and collaboration and increase the efficient use of resources by a variety of allied health care providers in order to improve allied health care. According to the US Department of Labor, there are over 17 million persons working in allied health care. About 14% of all wage and salary jobs created, or those that will be created from 1998 through 2008, will be in health services (Bureau of Labor Statistics). SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE
The number one cause for the increase in allied health care professions is the explosion of scientific and technical knowledge over the past twenty years. You cannot pick up a newspaper, magazine, or listen to the news without hearing about some of the new technology within medicine. Today, it is thought that the half-life of medical knowledge and the technology that accompanies it is three - five years. This means that in a period of three - five years, half of the medical knowledge we have today will...
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