Associate's and bachelor's degree programs in a variety of allied health fields of study are available online. Online and hybrid associate's degree programs are available in allied health science fields, like nursing, and designed for students just starting out or those with a non-health related degree. Online bachelor's degree programs are designed for individuals seeking administration or health education positions. These flexible programs are available in a range of different specialties, such as health informatics and diagnostic imaging, and generally require an associate's degree for admission. Depending on the field of study, students might be required to complete a field experience or internship in both 2-year and 4-year programs. Other in-person requirements could include class attendance and one-on-one instruction.
Associate's Degree in Allied Health Science
Online associate's degree programs in allied health science are available for working medical professionals, such as paramedics, medical assistants and nurses, who have a degree in a non-health field. They are also available to students who are just starting out and looking for a general education in the health field. Graduates can consider entry-level work or move on into a bachelor's degree program related to healthcare. Credits are often transferable.
Information and Requirements
Both working professionals and individuals just starting out in their education have the flexibility of working from home on a schedule that is conducive to their personal lifestyles while enrolled in an online allied health program. Some programs, however, may be hybrid and combine online courses with coursework that requires some class attendance or one-on-one time with a teacher. Associate's degree programs in allied health science tend to offer a broad range of life science classes, such as biology and anatomy, combined with general education courses.
Online students of an allied health program are generally required to have a computer with Internet access, as well as an email address to communicate with professors and other students. For some programs, students may need to download special software or purchase a textbook.
List of Typical Courses
Associate's degree programs in allied health science tend to offer a broad range of life science classes, such as biology and anatomy, combined with general education courses. Some programs may offer the chance to choose electives in a particular area of study, such as radiation therapy, sonography or occupational therapy. This can affect the core subject classes that a student takes, though certain courses tend to be offered across most focus areas.
Anatomy and Physiology
This class provides a broad understanding of the construction and functions of the various systems of the human body. These include skeletal, muscular, nervous and organ systems. They may also touch upon human processes at the cellular level. Some schools may combine anatomy and physiology into one class, while others offer each as a separate core course.
Students gain a fundamental understanding of microorganisms and their purpose in the human body. This includes how they interact in both a healthy and diseased body system. Besides its online components, study may include some hands-on lab work.
This foundational course introduces students to how the science of human behavior works. They learn how some of the basic theories and principals in psychology are applied. They are also taught how personality develops as well as how it's shaped by heredity and environment.
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Bachelor's Degree Allied Health Science
Completion of an online bachelor's degree in the allied health science can prepare individuals for work in leadership or health education positions within health-related facilities. Online programs allow for flexibility and can be self-paced. The potential for transferring credits from previously completed programs can reduce the four years typically needed to complete a baccalaureate program.
Information and Requirements
Typically, online bachelor's degree programs in allied health require students to already have an associate's degree in a health-related major or have the completed specific prerequisite courses. Concentrations may be available in areas such as community health, diagnostic medical imaging, cardiopulmonary science and health informatics. Gaining work experience in the field may also be required.
Online courses may be completed through a dedicated content management website that hosts all resources needed. Some courses may require they be taken at a particular time and involve interaction online with teachers.
List of Common Courses
Bachelor's degree allied health courses provide an overview of skills and techniques needed to work in the health industry. Students may wish to specialize through electives and advanced studies.
This course looks at the ethics involved in the distribution of healthcare from a moral, philosophical and legal viewpoint. Online students may study common issues that arise in the field, such as patient abuse, financial influences on healthcare, patient rights and informed consent.
This class assesses methods of sharing health education information with the public. This includes promotion in schools and the general community.
Health Services Administration
Online students learn about the organization of health facilities, as well as duties of the administrators in this upper-level course. Other course topics include the roles of health organizations and problems in the delivery of health services.
Career Information for Graduates
Due to the broad and fundamental education typically offered in an associate's degree program in allied health, graduates commonly go on to earn bachelor's degrees in the type of health-related major they wish to focus on. Entry-level employment, however, can be found in hospitals, clinics and private practices. Students who choose to specialize in their choice of coursework may be able to gain employment as assistants in fields such as radiation therapy, sonography or occupational therapy.
Those with a bachelor's degree in allied health may be qualified for positions as medical and health services managers, especially in small or private medical facilities. As of May 2015, the median income for this career was $94,500, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reported that job opportunities in the field were expected to increase by 17% from 2014-2024, faster than the average for all occupations.
Continuing Education Information
Students interested in pursuing graduate-level study can find master's and doctorate programs in allied health science, allied health or health sciences that allow for specialization; though very few are available online. Depending on their career choices, baccalaureate graduates may just choose to pursue an advanced degree in a particular branch of healthcare. Online programs are often suitable for the working professional who may not be able to balance a work and on-campus class schedule. Most of the classes may be able to be completed online, so some campus time may be needed.
Experienced healthcare professionals and first-time students alike can earn an online associate's or bachelor's degree in allied health science, which includes courses such as microbiology, psychology, healthcare ethics and health promotion. Some programs require students to complete hands-on clinical training, while others can be completed fully online.