Obviously, there are a large number of options for careers in health care.  Allied Health Careers typically refer to careers in health that are outside of nursing, medicine, or pharmacy.  While we have many students interested in allied health careers such as Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant, there are numerous other fields that students may wish to explore.  Some of these other allied health career paths require degrees and programs available at the associates degree level, and are thus not as popular with current CSU students.  However, we do have students at CSU who plan to attend an allied health program - whether at the community college or graduate level - after completing their studies at CSU. 
 
The best explanation and list of Allied Health Careers can be found through explorehealthcareers.org page on Allied Health Professions.  One of the most important factors a student should consider when planning to attend an allied health program is that the program is accredited.
 
Brief descriptions and links to information about the most common allied health professions CSU students inquire about are below.  We are happy to talk with you about any allied health profession, even if it is not listed here.

 

Radiologic technologists (RTs) perform diagnostic imaging examinations and plan and administer radiation therapy treatments. RTs work closely with radiologists, the physicians who interpret medical images.

There are two categories of certifications for students interested in Radiologic Technology.
  1. Primary Pathway:  Students new to the field should begin with the primary pathway to certification.  This entails enrolling in a formal, accredited educational program in radiography, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance imaging, or sonography.  Upon successful completion of the program, students can be eligible to sit for the certification exam. 
  2. Post-Primary Pathway:  Once a student has completed certification in a primary pathway, s/he is eligible to move on to a post-primary certification (if desired) in mammography, computed tomography, quality management, bone densitometry, cardiac-interventional radiography, vascular-interventional radiography, vascular sonography, breast sonography, or using the post-primary pathway to magnetic resonance imaging or sonography. 
Details on the certification process for Radiologic Technologists can be found here:  https://www.arrt.org/Certification
 
List of Accredited Programs:
Accredited Programs in Colorado: 
Professional Organizations:
Dental Hygienists work alongside dentists to meet the oral health care needs of their patients.  Each state has its own regulations that determine the responsibilities of dental hygienists, but  common tasks of the dental hygienist include screening patients and doing initial assessments, taking dental x-rays, removing calculus and plaque from tooth surfaces, applying preventative materials such as sealants and fluoride, and teaching patients about oral hygiene strategies such as brushing, flossing, and proper nutrition.
 
Students interested in a career in dental hygiene must graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program (usually at the Associate's Degree level), pass the national board exam, and pass a regional or state licensing exam to be licensed in the state.
 
Other careers in dentistry include dental assistant and dental laboratory technician.  The American Dental Association has provided brief descriptions of each Dental Team Career here:  http://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/careers-in-dentistry/dental-team-careers
 
List of Accredited Programs:
Accredited Programs in Colorado: 
Professional Organizations:
Health Administration is concerned with the business side of health care.  Those who work in health administration or management plan, direct, coordinate and supervise the delivery of health care.  There are many different career options under the larger umbrella of health administration.
 
Students interested in this field are encouraged to earn a masters degree in health administration, healthcare management, or health policy.  These degrees can vary in their title (MBA, MHA, MS, MPH) and focus.  The pre-requisites for health administration graduate programs include a bachelors degree in any field of study.   Students considering health administration as a career are encouraged to take classwork in economics, business, finance, marketing, policy, and organizational behavior.
 
List of Accredited Programs:
Accredited Programs in Colorado: 
Professional Organizations:

 

Genetic counselors are health professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. Most enter the field from a variety of disciplines, including biology, genetics, nursing, psychology, public health, and social work.  Genetic counselors work as members of a health care team, providing information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders and to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. They identify families at risk, investigate the problem present in the family, interpret information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence and review available options with the family.  (National Society of Genetic Counselors)
 
Genetic Counseling requires a masters degree from an accredited graduate program.  To apply to a graduate program in genetic counseling, a student will need:
  1. An earned BS or BA degree with a 3.0 minimum GPA
  2. Prerequisite Courses (see table below)
  3. GRE score
  4. Experience in counseling and laboratory settings and a strong understanding of the genetic counseling field.  A searchable directory of genetic counselors willing to talk to potential applicants considering this career field is available at the NSGC (linked below).
Common Pre-requisite coursework for masters programs in genetic counseling.  These courses are provided as GENERAL pre-requisites and may not represent a complete list of requirements.  It is the student's responsibility to check with each professional school in order to determine specific pre-requisites courses and equivalencies for each institution.
Requirement
CSU Equivalent Course(s)
Biology, full year sequence
LIFE 102 and LIFE103
General Chemistry, full year sequence
CHEM111/112 and CHEM113/114
General Biochemistry
BC351 or BC401 and 403/404
Genetics
BZ350
General Psychology
PSYC100
Anatomy & Physiology (recommended)
BMS300/302 and BMS301
Molecular/Cellular Biology (recommended)
BZ310, LIFE210/212
Introductory Statistics (recommended)
STAT201, 301, 307, or higher
Organic Chemistry (recommended)
CHEM245/246 or CHEM341 and CHEM343/344

 

List of Accredited Programs:
Accredited Programs in Colorado: 
Professional Organizations:
Respiratory Therapists practice under a medical doctor and are responsible for:
  • Diagnosing lung and breathing disorders and recommending treatment methods.
  • Interviewing patients and doing chest physical exams to determine what kind of therapy is best for their condition.
  • Consulting with physicians to recommend a change in therapy, based on your evaluation of the patient.
  • Analyzing breath, tissue, and blood specimens to determine levels of oxygen and other gases.
  • Managing ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who can’t breathe normally on their own.
  • Responding to Code Blue or other urgent calls for care.
  • Educating patients and families about lung disease so they can maximize their recovery.   (From "Be an RT" at http://www.aarc.org/career/be_an_rt/_)
  •  
To become a respiratory therapist, students must earn a minimum of an associate degree from an accredited respiratory therapy education program.
 
"Be an RT" from the American Association for Respiratory Care:  http://www.asrt.org/main/careers/careers-in-radiologic-technology
 
List of Accredited Programs:
Accredited Programs in Colorado (all at the associates level):
Professional Organizations:
  • American Association for Respiratory Care: http://www.aarc.org/
  • Colorado Society for Respiratory Care:  (link tba)