Health Aides/Attendants/Orderlies

Overview of Health Aides/Allied Health/Orderlies Programs

Health aides/allied health/orderlies postsecondary programs are generally necessary for people who want to work to support doctors, nurses and other senior healthcare professionals.  The college and university programs train people to work as nurse aides, orderlies, home health aides and patient care technicians.

Working as Health Aides/Allied Health/Orderlies

Few, if any, medical facilities would operate efficiently without the support of health aides, allied health professionals and orderlies.  In fact, these workers are sometimes the first people that patients meet when they schedule care with their primary physicians or when they visit medical facilities during routine and emergency situations.

Types of jobs health aides, allied health and orderlies perform are transporting patients from emergency rooms to regular hospital rooms, caring for ill and elderly people at their homes, lifting patients from beds into wheelchairs and vice versa and delivering medical equipment to emergency rooms and other areas of hospitals, clinics, treatment centers and nursing homes.

Curriculum for Health Aides/Allied Health/Orderlies

College and university curriculums people who major in health aides/allied health/orderlies complete vary by school.  However, postsecondary schools have general coursework that all students must complete to earn their diploma, certificate or degree.  Coursework teaches you about:

  • Patient care
  • Medical records
  • Medical equipment
  • Medical terminology
  • Communication skills
  • Math
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Intervention and treatment
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology

Health Aides/Allied Health/Orderlies Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees

Physical Therapist Aide, Certificate in Home Health Aide, Associate degree in Allied Health and the Bachelor degree in Health Aide are types of certifications and degrees available in health aides, attendants and orderlies programs.  The programs can generally be completed in two to four years, with certificate programs requiring a year or less of academic training to complete.  Unlike some medical and healthcare college and university programs that require you to complete several hours of laboratory work, you can complete all of your health aides/attendants/orderlies postsecondary training with a college online.  Just make sure that you enroll in programs at accredited colleges and universities so you can transfer your credits and earn more advanced degrees should you choose to do so.  Enrolling in courses at accredited colleges and universities also allows you to earn a degree from a postsecondary school that other schools and employers respect; factors that can make it much easier for you to gain employment.  Of course, you can also complete health aides/attendants/orderlies college and university programs in the classroom.

Skills Related to Health Aides/Allied Health/Orderlies Postsecondary Programs

Because many of the types of jobs you can work in as health aides, attendants and orderlies programs are similar, getting a degree or certification in one of the programs allows you to transfer your skills to work for employers at other similar jobs.  For example, if you get trained to work as an orderly you can, with a little continuing education or on-the-job training, work as a home health aide lifting clients in and out of beds and chairs in their private residences.  Additional skills you gain after you complete these training programs are:

  • Helping seniors to remain mobile in their homes
  • Assisting nurses and doctors with patient needs
  • Providing patients conversation and comfort as you transport them to and from hospital rooms
  • Ability to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Remaining current on latest healthcare trends and practices
Job Opportunities for Health Aides/Allied Health/Orderlies

As of May 2008, the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics expected jobs for healthcare workers including health aides, attendants and orderlies, to increase by 22 percent from 2008 through 2018. In fact, the Bureau expects as many as 3.2 million new jobs to be created in the healthcare field.  Getting college and university certifications and degrees can help position you to land higher paying jobs.

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