What Setting Do Allied Health Professionals Typically Work In?

by Howard Gerber on September 6, 2018

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allied health settingsAllied health is a growing career field. If you are considering becoming an allied health worker, you have a lot of options. Allied health professionals include a variety of careers including respiratory therapists, physician assistants, and medical assistants. Allied health professionals work in various settings including healthcare facilities, private medical practices, and government agencies. Below are the most common settings for allied health workers.

Acute Care Medical Centers

Acute care medical centers and hospitals are inpatient facilities that care for people with a wide variety of medical conditions, such as orthopedic injuries, heart problems, and cancer. Hospitals and medical centers may vary in size and the specific services offered.

Many types of allied health workers find jobs in acute care hospitals including ultrasound techs, physician assistants, and nuclear medicine technologists. Allied health professionals that are not involved in direct patient care, such as health informational technologists, also work in acute care hospitals and medical centers.  

Sub-Acute Hospitals

Sub-acute hospitals are also inpatient facilities that care for patients that require ongoing medical care, but at a different level than an acute care hospital. In a sub-acute hospital, patients are usually more stable than those in an acute care facility. In some cases, patients that are discharged from an acute care hospital, but still need ongoing care, are admitted into a sub-acute facility before going home. Allied health workers in sub-acute facilities include respiratory therapists, medical lab technicians, and speech-language pathologists.

Rehabilitation Centers

Rehabilitation centers usually provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment. Rehabilitation centers treat people recovering from various conditions and injuries, such as strokes, head trauma, and amputations.

Patients are usually medically stable and able to participate in various types of rehab therapy to relearn skills, improve functioning, and learn to adapt to their condition. Allied health professionals in rehabilitation centers include physical, occupational, and speech therapists.

Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skilled nursing facilities care for patients with various medical needs as they recover from an illness, surgery, or injury. A skilled nursing facility may be a good option for people that are discharged from the hospital but are not well enough to go home. Recreational therapists, clinical nutritionists, and physical therapists are allied health professionals that often work in a skilled nursing facility.

Home Health Agencies

Home health agencies provide medical care to people in their homes. Patients must be stable enough to be cared for at home but can have significant medical problems. Allied health workers that may find jobs in home health include physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists.


Various types of clinics, such as urgent care centers, may also employ allied health workers. Clinics typically provide medical care on an outpatient basis. Allied health professionals at a clinic may include medical assistants, x-ray techs, and dental hygienists.

With all the options and various settings where you can work, it’s easy to see why working in allied health may be a good career choice.


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