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Allied Health Assistant 1b: Skills and Specialities

Allied Health Assistant 1b: Skills and Specialties

Allied health encompasses a broad range of different health care professionals who provide a range of skills in the fields of dentistry, pharmaceutical, medicine, nursing, nutrition, rehabilitation, and more. This course is the second course of the Allied Health concentrator sequence and gives you the needed skills to pursue any of these careers in allied health.

Review Course Outline

Units at a Glance

Unit 1: Medical Lab Skills

How do allied health assistants know what type of care to provide? It might seem daunting to figure this out for each and every patient. Rest assured, however, that medical treatments and care provided are often based on diagnostic test results. Medical lab technologists (MLTs) and medical lab assistants (MLAs) play pivotal roles in making sure that safe, effective care is provided to all patients. In order to facilitate this, MLTs and MLAs are responsible for performing a wide variety of tests, maintaining equipment and lab environments, and collaborating with other health care team members. It really does take a village, but ultimately, these extra steps are well worth the effort.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Describe the scope of practice for medical laboratory services
  • Identify and explain the use of instruments commonly found in clinical laboratories
  • Operate laboratory equipment
  • Explain how to culture and perform bioassays
  • Identify common microorganisms

Unit 2: Radiology and Imaging

Radiography is a fascinating field. It is the science that creates images of the internal structure of the human body. The procedures performed by radiology technicians, X-ray machine operators, ultrasound technicians, and other health care providers aid physicians in diagnosing illnesses to ensure that patients receive the treatments needed to promote or regain their health. Get ready to learn about the various roles people play in diagnostic imaging, the equipment that is used, how the patients are positioned during procedures and how to support them during their testing.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explore the scope of imaging services
  • Compare and contrast various diagnostic imaging techniques
  • Explain the proper patient positions for various radiologic procedures
  • Describe how radiation produces an image on film and through digital technology

Unit 3: Cardiology: The Heart of the Matter

Without the delivery of oxygen-rich blood by the cardiovascular system, organ systems would not be able to function. Therefore, it is critical to understand how to monitor cardiovascular health so you can intervene appropriately if there are abnormalities. Having this knowledge-base is the first step in supporting an individual’s overall health. Together, we’ll explore the roles of those involved in optimizing the cardiovascular health of patients and how this is best achieved. Let’s get to the “heart” of the matter so that you don’t miss a beat in the field of cardiology!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain the scope of practice for allied health careers in cardiology services
  • Describe the relationship between the anatomy of the cardiovascular system and normal electrical conduction
  • Compare and contrast polarization, depolarization, and repolarization
  • Identify the correct placement of electrodes for a 12-lead ECG and bedside rhythm strip interpretation
  • Correlate the components of the cardiac complex with the conduction system of the heart

Unit 4: Respiratory Skills: Breathing Easy

The respiratory system is the site for gas exchange. Through this process, oxygen is supplied to all body systems for energy, and waste products are removed from tissues and organs. Allied Health Assistants who specialize in respiratory care work to promote respiratory health and prevent illness and complications from existing illnesses. By doing this, they support overall health and wellness of patients they work with. Take a deep breath and let’s explore the roles of the AHA in this important area!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain the scope of practice for respiratory services
  • Compare and contrast different oxygen delivery systems
  • Discuss respiratory assessment skills
  • Describe emergency airway management interventions

Unit 5: Surgical Skills

The operating room is often considered a mysterious part of health care. The preoperative and postoperative care of patients is something that people are usually familiar with, but how surgeries occur, where they are performed, and who is involved in the various types of surgical procedures remain mysterious. This is true for patients and many health care practitioners from other specialties as well. Here, we’ll provide you with foundational knowledge that will pull back the curtains and take the mystery out of the operating room!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Differentiate between various medical and surgical definitions as well as conditions
  • Describe the scope of practice for surgical services
  • Compare and contrast different types of wounds
  • Understand the implications for and monitoring of intravenous fluid administration

Unit 6: Pharmacy and Medication Administration

Pharmacy services involve so much more than the dispensing of medications. A great deal of coordination is required, and attention to detail is a must in this field! This branch of health science is an exciting one that will continue to expand in years to come. Gear up to learn about the different types of pharmacies and the people who work in them.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain the scope of practice for pharmacy services
  • Compare and contrast the four major processes of pharmacokinetics
  • Calculate basic medication dosages
  • Describe the different types of IV fluid
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of the various routes of medication administration

Unit 7: Emergency Skills

There are so many television programs about emergency services. This makes sense because successful TV shows are exciting, suspenseful, and interesting. And while emergency services are all those things, what is not always portrayed on television is the education required to provide care to patients experiencing traumatic events, acute illnesses, or injuries. Together, we’ll explore the scope of practice of those involved in the delivery of emergency health care and learn some things that can be done to support people experiencing heath crises until trained personnel arrive.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain the scope of practice for emergency services
  • Identify various first-aid procedures
  • Describe how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Discuss the treatments for hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic reactions

Unit 8: Dental and Veterinary Assistants

Now that we have explored allied health assistant roles for those who work with human body systems, you may also be interested in learning more about other ways you can put the skills you’ve learned to good use. Dental health, for example, is an important component of the overall wellness of an individual, and dental assistants play key roles in supporting health. Finally, we’ll examine the role of veterinary assistants—individuals who care for cherished pets, service animals, and food sources.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Discuss the scope of practice for dentistry services
  • Explain the universal numbering system for teeth
  • Demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques
  • Consider the animal care industry and basic knowledge of laboratory procedures used in veterinary practice
  • Describe procedures for preventing and controlling the transmission of disease in animals

Required Materials

  • Computer with:
    • Internet access
    • Word processing program
  • Cell phone, tablet, or computer camera with sound and video recording abilities
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