Online Allied Health Schools and Colleges: How to Choose
Allied health programs have a wide variety of focuses and purposes depending on the needs of the student. General allied health programs are often designed for working professionals who wish to earn a bachelor's degree while still being employed full time.
How to Choose an Online Allied Health Program
Degree Type and Focus
There are a huge variety of degrees available under the allied healthcare umbrella. Some are preparatory degrees for a particular job role, such as a nurse or a particular type of healthcare technician. Others serve as general degrees in areas such as health science or healthcare management, and may serve as preparation for a number of different allied health professions or serve as managerial training programs for those seeking upward mobility. Still other degrees are specifically titled allied health degrees. These too serve as general degrees, and may be either continuing education options for professionals already working in an allied health profession or a preparatory degree for students who will go on to a higher degree that provides for their licensing requirements.
Licensure and Residency Requirements
Because allied health is such a large field, students seeking an allied health degree program may face licensing requirements in their chosen subsection of the allied health field. This also means that online programs specific to a given area of study may or may not be available due to residency or clinical requirements. In cases where fully-online programs are not available, students may be able to find hybrid degree programs that allow them to take the bulk of their classes online and complete clinical requirements either on campus or at a suitable facility near their home. Students seeking a career in allied health should do careful research to ensure that the degree option they choose will provide for their future licensing requirements.
Online Degree Options for Allied Health
Bachelor of Science in Allied Health
Normally, a bachelor's of allied health program is intended for students who will serve in a support function to a healthcare provider of some sort, whether dental, medical or specialist. Other subjects that may be covered or chosen as a focus include the evaluation or prevention of diseases, diet and nutrition, health management and accident rehabilitation. Depending on the school, online allied health degrees may be designed for working professionals or offered in a more accelerated format for students who wish to enter the workforce upon the completion of their degree.
Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management
A bachelor's degree healthcare management is similar to an allied health degree except that it often emphasizes management or supervisory duties and is more often designed for working professionals who may need a flexible degree program. Graduates may find employment in hospitals, nursing care centers, physicians' practices or pharmaceutical companies.
Bachelor of Science in Health Science
A bachelor's degree in health science is usually a general degree program intended for working professionals in health science who have not yet completed a bachelor's degree and wish to do so while still working. Subjects covered include cultural and historical perspectives of healthcare, tools used to assess community health such as biostatistics, and the ethical responsibilities of administrators in allied health.
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