In India, over 6 lakh candidates annually appear for different medical entrance exams including national level test AIPMT. But the fact remains that less than 10 per cent of the total aspirants get the coveted Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) seats in different medical colleges across India.
Candidates appearing for top Medical entrance exam AIPMT, compete with over 150 applicants for an MBBS seat which also means that less than 1 per cent of total AIPMT applicants finally make it to the medical colleges.
So what if you are among the 90 percent of medical aspirants who could not get an MBBS seat? Is there still any opportunity for you to enter into core Health Services sector? Apart from MBBS/BDS, what can be your alternative career option in Health sector?
A professional course in Allied Health Sciences can open up numerous opportunities for you. India boasts a number of programmes in allied health sciences which is in great industry demand as it forms the backbone of country’s health services.
Careers360 brings you details on careers options in Allied Health Science.
What is Allied Health Sciences (AHS)?
An Allied Health Science (AHS) professional helps doctors in specialized areas and facilitates for better diagnosis, treatment and therapy. With government and private sector initiatives to uplift the health facilities in the country, the role of AHS professionals has become highly important as they work on execution level to define the quality of health care services at hospitals and health centres. The professional courses in AHS brings you expertise in prevent disease transmission, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate patients.
The courses offered under AHS include Anesthesia Technology, Neuroscience Technology, Surgical Technology, Radiology and Imaging Science Technology, Blood Bank and Immunology Technology, Urology Technology, Critical Care Technology, Dietitians and Nutritionists among others.
Why Allied Health Science is a bright option?
According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, India is short by around 8.5 lakh anesthetists and technicians trained to run an operation theatre, 20.4 lakh dental staff (dental technicians and hygienists), ophthalmologists and optometrists (1.27 lakh), rehabilitation specialists (clinical psychologists) (18 lakh), medical laboratory technicians (61,000), radiographers (19,000), audiology and speech language specialists (7,500) and medical staff-like dieticians (2.3 lakh).
The report titled ‘A Universal Truth: No Health without a Workforce’, says that India is one of the 83 countries which do not meet the minimum requirement of having a healthcare workforce of 22.8 per 10,000 people. The country has 15.8 skilled health professionals per 10,000 people, making it worse than Sri Lanka (24.5), Thailand (17.4) and South Africa (43.4). Cuba is ranked first in the report with 159.1 healthcare workers per 10,000 people.
Eligibility criteria for Allied Health Science Courses:
For admission into Bachelor’s Degree programme, a student should have passed higher secondary education or 10+2 in Physics, Chemistry, Biology (Botany and Zoology) and Mathematics. The eligibility criteria also varies for courses and colleges opted by students. The duration for Bachelor’s Degree course is 3 years. Also there are many specialized courses offered at Postgraduate level including Diploma and Degree. Many institutes also offer certificate short term courses in specialized programmes which can be pursued in specific subjects/stream only.
What is the mode of admission?
For admission to courses of Allied Health Sciences, many institutes conduct entrance examination. A number of institutes also offer direct admission to candidates based on their marks in intermediate, graduation and post-graduation level. The mode of admission varies from college to college.
What is the Admission Cycle of Allied Health Science?
The admission procedure for Allied Health Sciences begins from the month of July. Generally, admission timeline varies from course to course. For undergraduate degree, application forms are available from the month of June while for Diploma and Certificate Programmes, different institutes have different academic cycles.
What are the popular courses of Allied Health Science?
Anesthesia Technology–This course imparts extensive knowledge of anesthesia techniques, instruments, supplies, and technology. The professionals who pursue this course are mainly employed by anesthetic departments of Health centres, emergency departments, intensive care units (ICU) and day surgery clinics. The Anesthesia Technology experts are surgical technologists who assist anesthesiologists.
Course Level: Undergraduate – B.Sc.
Duration: 3 years
Fee Structure: 2 – 3 Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institutes)
Neuroscience Technology – Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field which links applied physical sciences of Biology, medical physics with psychophysiology and neuro imaging in order to scientifically understand the workings of the human brain and nervous system. The professionals who pursue this course do experiments on tissue and cell samples. Neuroscience technologists are skilled in developing antibodies, dyes, and gene to identify different components of the nervous system.
Course Level: Undergraduate, Post Graduate and Ph.D.
Duration: 3 years for undergraduate, 2 years for Post Graduate and 3 - 5 years for Ph.D.
Fee Structure: 3 – 4 Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institute)
Renal Dialysis Technology – The objective of this course is to provide complete knowledge of diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease. Renal dialysis technicians work closely with nurses to treat patients suffering from renal disease. The expert of Renal Dialysis works closely with patients by providing dialysis facility to them and play vital role in their treatment. Their duties include setup of dialysis equipment, prepare patients for dialysis and monitor them during dialysis treatment. These technicians are responsible for monitoring patients, checking blood pressure and obtaining pertinent health information.
Course Level: Undergraduate, Post Graduate and Certificate
Duration: 3years for undergraduate, 2 years for Post Graduate and 6 months for certificate
Fee Structure: 1 – 3 Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institute)
Medical Laboratory Technology –This is course gives knowledge which helps in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases through the use of clinical laboratory tests. A medical laboratory technician is a healthcare professional who performs chemical, hematological, immunologic, microscopic, and different diagnostic analyses on body fluids such as blood, urine, sputum and stool to diagnose, detect and track diseases.
Course Level: Undergraduate, Post Graduate and Diploma
Duration: 3 years for undergraduate, 2 years for Post Graduate and 1 year for Diploma
Fee Structure: 1 – 3 Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institutes)
Surgical Technology - Surgical technologists also known as surgical assistant are members of operating room teams. The Surgical assistant experts are highly skilled in setting up operating room by sterilizing surgical instruments, equipment and supplying required objects during operation such as drapes, gowns, gloves, suction tubing, etc. A surgical technologist works closely with surgeons and assists them at the time of surgery.
Course Level: Undergraduate, Post graduate, Diploma and Certificate
Duration: 3years for undergraduate, 2 years for Post Graduate, 1 year for Diploma
Fee Structure: 1 – 5 Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institutes)
Radiology and Imaging Science Technology – The work of Radiology technologists is to perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT Scan, Sonography etc.
Fee Structure: 2 – 4 Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institutes)
Urology Technology - Urology technicians work in laboratories in hospitals, clinics and universities. Their work is to perform tests on patients' urine samples to diagnose their disease and condition. Urologist technicians also work for pharmaceutical companies to develop medicine based on the research.
Course Level: Undergraduate, Post graduate and Diploma
Fee Structure: 2 – 3Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institutes)
Blood Bank and Immunology Technology - A blood bank specialist’s duty is to supervise the collection, separation, delivery and storage of blood. They conduct test on blood products and assist physicians in transplant or transfusion therapy.
Course Level: Undergraduate and Diploma
Duration: 3 years for undergraduate and1 year for Diploma
Physician Assistant - Physician assistants also referred as Physician Associates (PAs) prevent and treat disease under supervision of physician or surgeon. Their main work is to diagnose the diseases, prescribe medication, order and interpret diagnostic tests. They work in hospitals, clinics and assist doctors in treatment of disease
Course Level: Undergraduate
Duration: 3 Years
Critical Care Technology - This programme teaches the basics of trauma nursing and procedures of acute care. Candidates learn to assess and evaluate injuries and recognize signs of injuries to give medical attention accordingly.
Course Level: Undergraduate, Diploma and Certificate
Duration: 3years for undergraduate, 1 year for Diploma and 6 months for certificate
Physiotherapy - This course helps students to get a basic understanding of the human body, based on medical sciences, training in understanding the procedures for therapy which help them in recovery from disease and distress. Physiotherapist learns anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, psychology, medical and surgical conditions, biomechanics, kinesiology, disability prevention, rehabilitation and other subjects to provide complete remedy to patients.
Course Level: Undergraduate, Post graduate
Duration: 3 – 4 years for undergraduate, 2 years for postgraduate
Occupational Therapy -Occupational therapists work with people of all ages to help them overcome the disability and disorder caused by physical or psychological illness. The therapists are skilled professionals who have sound knowledge of human growth and development and how physiology affects illness and injury on person. The key areas in which Occupational therapists work are, physical rehabilitation, mental health services, learning disability, primary care, pediatrics disorder development, environmental adaptation, etc.
Perfusion Technology - Cardiac perfusionist plays vital role during cardiac surgery and other surgeries that require cardiopulmonary bypass. Perfusionists are important member of a highly specialized surgical team whose primary role is to conduct cardiopulmonary bypass using a heart-lung machine and other ancillary equipment.
Fee Structure: 3 – 5 Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institutes)
Health Information Administration – This course imparts the skills of collecting and generating records and reports about patients who are being treated. Health information administrator designs and manages information systems in the healthcare system to ensure smooth process of medical facility given to patients.
Course Level: Undergraduate and Post graduate
Duration: 3years for Under Graduate and 2 years for Post Graduate
Fee Structure: 4 – 5 Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institutes)
Cardiovascular Technology - It is among the most sought after career among the allied health sciences because of increase in cardiovascular diseases. They are specialists who help cardio surgeons and cardiologists diagnose and treat heart patients. They monitor heart rate and blood pressure and after detecting abnormalities they notify doctors about patient condition. They also assist doctor during heart surgery. They monitor patient condition before and after the surgery.
Duration: 3 years for undergraduate and 2 years for Post Graduate
Fee Structure: 3– 5 Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institutes)
Optometry - Optometry is a science vision care. They are the physician who deals with the examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and disorders of the visual system. They diagnose and treat vision related problems. Optometrist is trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision, and at some extent they can also diagnose and treat various eye diseases.
Audiology & Speech Pathology - The person who deals with this field is known as Audiologists. They are speech-language pathologists who provide therapy to people who have communication disorders. They diagnose and treat person with speech, language, voice, literacy and fluency disorders and provides an approach to overcome it. They also identify, measure and diagnose people having hearing impairments and provide solution to their problem.
Course Level: Undergraduate, Post Graduate, Certificate, Diploma and Ph.D.
Duration: 3 years for undergraduate, 6 – 8 months for Certificate, 1 year for Diploma and 2 years for Post Graduate and 3 - 5 years for Ph.D.
Fee Structure: 2 – 5 Lakh (Depends on Colleges & Institutes)
Dieticians and Nutritionists - Dieticians and nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They can help not only patients but also people to plan their diet by choose right things to eat, help them plan menus, and advise them on the health effects of certain food. They assess a patient’s dietary habits and suggest them healthy diet as per their requirement. While nutritionists work closely with individuals who have medical issues and suggest the menu and diet as per their demand.
Duration: 3 years for undergraduate, 6 – 8 months for Certificate, 1 year for Diploma and 2 years for Post Graduate and 3 - 5 years for Ph.D.
Medical Transcription: Medical Transcriptionists (MTs) are specialists in medical language and healthcare documentation. The MT reviews document as prescribed by the doctors or physician. They make any appropriate correction in prescribed documents. Once the prescription paper is completely reviewed and edited, the document is send back to the doctor/physician/hospital for further detailing. Medical Transcriptionists have to undergo training to learn the basic Anatomy and Physiology of Human Body, medical terminology, pharmacology (drug names along with doses and dosages), etc. to comprehend the suggestion prescribed by specialist, doctor, physician etc.
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