AHP Careers

Assistant Practitioners

Assisstant practitioners are experienced staff working in support roles, alongside qualified healthcare professionals.

Working life

Assistant practitioners (sometime known as associate practitioners) have skills and experience in a particular area of clinical practice. Although they are not registered practitioners they have a high level of skill through their experience and training.

Assistant practitioners work across the NHS in most departments so you could be working in:

  • respiratory medicine, testing and assessing lung function
  • occupational therapy, assessing people’s need for aids and equipment at home
  • an operating theatre area, scrubbing and assisting in surgical and other procedures, or monitoring patients recovering from surgery
  • providing personal, social, therapeutic and rehabilitative care (e.g. bowel care and management, catheter insertions etc.)
  • dietetics, encouraging people to make healthier food choices
  • biomedical science, analysing samples in a lab
  • mental health services, supporting adults or young people with mental health issues
  • stroke rehabilitation, helping people recover in their own homes
  • emergency medicine, treating patients so they can return home as soon as possible
  • radiography, helping to diagnose or treat a patient’s illness
  • a health centre or GP surgery, changing dressings and monitoring medication
  • hearing services, as a hearing aid dispenser

As an assistant practitioner, you’ll always work under the direction of a health professional such as a nurse, dietitian, physiotherapist, podiatrist or biomedical scientist. Your level of training and experience means you can often work alone, without supervision. You’ll carry out agreed procedures, referring to a professional for guidance when necessary.

Assistant practitioners work across the NHS in most departments.

You could work in hospitals, clinics or in the community eg GP surgeries. You may visit patients in their homes or in residential care. You’ll work closely with other healthcare staff and have a lot of contact with patients.

You may mentor healthcare assistants, trainee assistant practitioners and student nurses.

Entry requirements

To train as an assistant practitioner, you have to be working in the NHS, often in a clinical support role such as healthcare assistantdietetic assistant or maternity support worker.

As well as healthcare experience, trainee assistant practitioners have a healthcare qualification, usually at level 3, such as the CACHE Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support.

Your skills and responsibilities will vary, depending on the care setting you work in. You’ll need to demonstrate the values and behaviours of the NHS Constitution and a knowledge of physical health, mental health and illness prevention, as well as more advanced knowledge, depending on your care setting.

Personal characteristics and skills needed

Assistant practitioners need to be:

  • caring and kind
  • confident with using lifting equipment
  • willing to be hands-on with patients
  • able to follow instructions and procedures
  • able to work in a team but use their own initiative
  • able to explain procedures to patients
  • careful and methodical

You’ll also need effective:

  • communication skills, including listening
  • organisational skills
  • observational skills

Training and development

You will be given the training you need for the job, including an introduction to the department and its procedures. Assistant practitioners usually follow a therapy or nursing training pathway and undertake a level 5 two-year foundation degree in health or social care, which may be available as an apprenticeship programme.

Assistant practitioners have to keep their skills and knowledge up to date with regular training.

Assistant practitioners can become members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) or the professional association for their speciality.

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/wider-healthcare-team/roles-wider-healthcare-team/clinical-support-staff/assistant-practitioner

*Information taken from Healthcare Careers website

 

Audiology

Audiology is about identifying and assessing hearing and balance function and their associated disorders.

Overview

Audiology is a rapidly developing field, and the need for audiological services is clear. A national study of hearing showed that approximately 16% of the population have a significant hearing loss, indicating that working in this field is an important area of the NHS.

Working life

In this area of healthcare science, you could work in areas including:

  • paediatrics
  • adult assessment and rehabilitation
  • special needs groups
  • research and development
  • teaching

Healthcare science staff in audiology work in a variety of settings, including hospitals and community settings (including the independent sector), where they assess and treat patients. With appropriate further training and development, and depending on their employer, they may reach consultant level. Many operate open referral clinics and may be the only point of contact for the patient.

Some audiologists work in a university, where their job is primarily concerned with teaching and research.

Roles in audiology

There are different roles within audiology that you can consider. These include:

Newborn hearing screener

As a newborn hearing screener you’d work in neonatal units, postnatal wards, and in hospitals and clinics. You’d be:

  • involved in identifying which newborn babies need to undergo a hearing assessment, and, after gaining consent from the parent or guardian, undertaking this assessment using screening equipment
  • responsible for making sure that the equipment you’re using is working correctly
  • recording all the results accurately using various computer systems, and forwarding these to appropriate healthcare staff requiring them
  • working as a part of a team including healthcare scientists, neonatal nurses, GPs and health visitors

Hearing aid audiologist

​Hearing aid dispensers (HAD) are fully qualified clinicians who assess hearing and provide aftercare for hearing aids.

Find out more about the role of hearing aid dispensers

Healthcare science practitioner

At a more senior level, working as a healthcare science practitioner, you’d:

  • use ways to measure and compensate for hearing loss, including offering the initial therapeutic support and advice, and diagnose audio-vestibular neurological diseases
  • work directly with patients, often children or elderly people
  • prescribe appropriate hearing aid equipment or arrange onward referral for further investigation
  • play both a clinical role and a managerial development role

Clinical scientist

As a clinical scientist working in audiology, you’d:

  • have a substantial amount of theoretical knowledge and practical skills about hearing, acoustics and balance
  • be able to develop diagnostic protocols, critically interpret and report the results of these procedures
  • recommend a care management strategy, for an individual patient, enabling you to solve clinical hearing and balance problems, and when necessary, develop logical alternatives
  • be involved in counselling and rehabilitating hearing impaired patients

As a more experienced clinical scientist, you’d generally carry out the non-routine aspects of an audiological service, involving complex hearing and balance computer-based investigations especially where a high degree of competence and responsibility is necessary. This will require background knowledge of the scientific and technological foundation on which hearing science is based and would often involve you acting as a co-ordinator, manager and initiator of service development.

Want to find out more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/physiological-sciences/audiology

*Information taken from the Health Careers website

Clinical Physiology/Healthcare Scientist

Healthcare Science plays a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a huge number of medical conditions. They also help people live independent lives through rehabilitation.

There are two pathways into Healthcare Science, the NHS Practitioner Training Programme or the Scientific Training Programme.  The right route for you will depend on whether or not you have completed academic study in a related science subject (see links below).

The programmes lead to an approved and accredited degree in one of five themes of Healthcare Science:

  • Cardiovascular, respiratory and sleep sciences
  • Neurosensory sciences
  • Pathology Sciences
  • Medical Physics
  • Clinical engineering

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/healthcare-science/studying-healthcare-science

 

*Information taken from the Health Careers website

Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology deals with a wide range of mental and physical health problems including addiction, anxiety, depression, learning difficulties and relationship issues.

Working life

Psychology is the study of how people think and behave – a combination of science and practice. Using direct observation, interviews and techniques such as psychometric testing, you’ll make an assessment of a patient’s problem. Treatment requires the cooperation of the patient and you will work in partnership with them to treat and manage their condition. This will usually take place over a series of sessions.

“One of the great advantages about working as a psychologist in the NHS, is that you can usually find job opportunities wherever you go”. Louise Fountain, consultant clinical psychologist

Read Louise’s story  

Clinical psychologists are trained to work with individuals of different ages with behavioural, emotional and/or psychological distress which disrupts their everyday functioning and well-being. They aim to reduce distress and to enhance and promote psychological well-being, minimise exclusion and inequalities and enable service users to engage in meaningful relationships and valued work and leisure activities.

Treatment requires the cooperation of the patient and you will work in partnership with them to treat and manage their condition.

As a clinical psychologist, you will draw on your scientific knowledge to bring about positive change. Treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy are now offered to people with range of mental health problems including anxiety and depression as well as more severe problems such as personality disorders.

Who will I work with?

You will work with individuals (including children, adults and older adults), couples, families and groups and at an organisational and community level.

You may work as part of a multi-professional team including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.

Many clinical psychologists also work in academia, teaching and researching in their area of expertise.

Where will I work?

You are likely to work in some, or all, of the following settings:

  • in hospitals
  • in local clinics and health centres
  • in community mental health teams
  • in social services, schools and prisons
  • Improving Access to Psychology Therapy (IAPT) services.

You will also liaise with members of community mental healthcare teams and other agencies such as the probation service and social services.

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/psychological-therapies/roles/clinical-psychologist

*Information taken from Health Careers website

 

Complementary Therapist

You’ll provide complementary therapies such as reflexology, massage and aromatherapy to people who may be experiencing emotional distress, pain or psychological issues.

Complementary therapists could work in a care home, health centre, hospice or someone’s home.

Your role might include:

  • Building trusting relationships with people who need care and support
  • Carrying out assessments to identifiy the treatments that people would most benefit from
  • Delivering therapies
  • Evaluating therapies and the impact they’ve had

Want to know more?

https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Careers-in-care/Job-roles/Roles/Complementary-therapist.aspx

*Information taken from Skills for Care website

Diagnostic Radiography

Diagnostic radiographers use the latest technology to look inside the body in different ways.

Working life

You’ll use a range of imaging technology and techniques to work out what disease or condition is causing a patient’s illness, including:

  • x-ray to look through tissues to examine bones, cavities and foreign objects
  • fluoroscopy to see a real time image of the digestive system
  • CT (computed tomography) which provides views of cross-sections of the body
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to build a 2D or 3D map of the different tissue types within the body
  • ultrasound to check circulation and examine the heart as well as in antenatal work
  • angiography to investigate blood vessels

See our information about non-ionising imaging, which includes MRI and ultrasound.

And watch this video which covers what both diagnostic radiographers and therapeutic radiographers do.

You’ll provide a service for most departments within the hospital including accident and emergency.

In the NHS, you’re likely to work in the radiology and imaging departments of hospitals to capture, interpret images and report your findings. You’ll provide a service for most departments within the hospital including accident and emergency, outpatients, operating theatres and wards. You may work in private clinics and hospitals.

As well working with other health professionals including healthcare scientists working in non-ionising imaging, you may supervise the work of radiography assistants or imaging support assistants.

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/allied-health-professionals/roles-allied-health-professions/diagnostic-radiographer

*Information taken from Health Careers website

 

Dietetics

Dietitians translate the science of nutrition into everyday information about food.

Working life

You’ll advise people and help them make informed and practical choices about their food and nutrition. You’ll assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems. You’ll also teach and inform the public and health professionals about diet and nutrition. Your aim is to promote good health and prevent disease in individuals and communities.

Dietitians are skilled at translating scientific and medical research related to food and health into practical guidance for the general public.

In the NHS, you’ll work in hospitals or in the community. However, outside the NHS, dietitians also work in the food industry, education, sport, media, public relations, publishing or research. Some work on a freelance basis.

You’ll work with individuals and communities with both healthy and sick people.

You could, for example, work with people who:

  • have digestive problems
  • want to lose weight
  • need to put on weight after an illness
  • have HIV
  • have an eating disorder
  • want to improve their sports performance
  • have an allergy.

As well as working with other health professionals and nutritionists, you may supervise the work of dietetic assistants. Dietitians and nutritionists have different roles and training and are regulated by different bodies.

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/allied-health-professionals/roles-allied-health-professions/dietitian

*Information taken from Health Careers website

 

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy is an exciting and varied career.  It offers you the chance to make a difference, a high degree of flexibility and excellent employment prospects.  You’ll work with patients every day to help improve their care and their lives.

Working life

You’ll work with people who have difficulties carrying out these activities because of disability, illness, trauma, ageing, and a range of long term conditions.

“Occupational therapy allows you to make a difference to people’s lives across the community which is something that really appeals to me about the career.” Rachel Rule, occupational therapy student.

Read Rachel’s story in full

What you’ll do as an occupational therapist

You’ll see a huge variety of patients and help them with many different issues as an occupational therapist. Some examples of things you might work on include:

  • helping someone adapt to life after major surgery
  • helping people suffering from mental illness get back into everyday activities such as work or volunteering
  • helping elderly people stay in their own homes by providing adaptations such as level access showers or stair lifts

Variety is one of the most exciting things about being an occupational therapist. As well as seeing different patients and conditions you’ll also have the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary team in a range of settings from hospitals and clinics to charities, prisons and social services departments

You’ll find solutions to everyday problems, for example:

  • advising on how to approach a task differently
  • using equipment or assistive technology
  • adapting the living or working environment
  • finding strategies to meet an individual’s goals

Illness, injury, disability or ageing can make ordinary tasks such daily care (washing, dressing, eating), work or education and leisure harder to do. You’ll help people find ways to continue with activities that are important to them. This might involve learning new ways to do things, or making changes to their environment to make things easier.

As well as working with individual patients and their families, occupational therapists work with groups. They work in teams with other health professionals. They may also supervise the work of occupational therapy support workers.

How to become an occupational therapist

To become an occupational therapist you’ll need to train and study at undergraduate degree level (through a full-time course or degree apprenticeship) or if you already have a relevant degree, at Masters level through a 2-year accelerated programme. Entry requirements vary depending on where you’d like to study. You can search for occupational therapy courses using our Course Finder tool.

Find out more about entry requirements and training to become an occupational therapist

“Helping to find solutions and deliver therapy that improves children’s health and quality of life is really satisfying.” Anne Gordon, paediatric occupational therapist

Read Anne’s story in full

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/allied-health-professionals/roles-allied-health-professions/occupational-therapist

*Information taken from Health Careers website

Operating Department Practitioner

Operating Department Practitioners work with patients of all ages and are involved in each phase of a person’s operation.

Working life

You’ll provide high standards of skilled care and support during each phase of a patient’s perioperative care – anaesthetic, surgical and recovery.

You’ll have an important role in three of the phases of perioperative care:

You’ll be primarily employed within operating theatres but increasingly in other critical care areas of a hospital.

The anaesthetic phase

You’ll:

  • assist the patient prior to surgery and provide individualised care
  • need an ability to communicate and work effectively within a team
  • undertake a role which will involve many clinical skills, such as the preparation of a wide range of specialist equipment and drugs. This includes; anaesthetic machines, intravenous equipment and devices to safely secure the patient’s airway during anaesthesia

The surgical phase

You’ll play an important part of the surgery team and will:

  • prepare all the necessary instruments and equipment for the operations, including microscopes, lasers and endoscopes
  • provide the correct surgical instruments and materials to the surgeon
  • be responsible for surgical instruments, equipment and swabs during the operation
  • act as a link between the surgical team and other parts of the theatre and hospital
  • anticipate the requirements of the surgical team and respond effectively

The recovery phase

You’ll:

  • support the patient on their arrival into the recovery unit
  • monitor a patient’s physiological parameters
  • provide appropriate treatment until the patient has recovered from the effects of the anaesthesia and/or surgery
  • assess the patient in order to ensure they can be discharged back to a ward
  • evaluate the care given during each phase

Where do ODPs work?

You’ll be primarily employed within operating theatres but increasingly in other critical care areas of a hospital.

ODPs also manage the preparation of the environment, equipment and act as the link between the surgical team and other parts of the operating theatre and hospital. They must be able to anticipate the requirements of the surgical team and respond effectively.

How to become an ODP

To become an ODP you’ll need to train and study at degree or diploma level. Entry requirements vary depending on where you’d like to study. You can find the ODP course to suit you using our Course Finder tool.

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/allied-health-professionals/roles-allied-health-professions/operating-department-practitioner

*Information taken from Health Careers website

 

Orthoptist

Orthoptist specialise in diagnosing and managing eye conditions, in a wide age range of patients, that largely affect eye movements, visual development or the way the eyes work together.

Working life

Orthoptics is an exciting and varied career. It offers you the chance to make a difference, a high degree of flexibility and excellent employment prospects. You’ll work with patients every day to help improve their care and their lives.

Orthoptists investigate, diagnose and treat defects of binocular vision and abnormalities of eye movement. For example, they may deal with:

  • misalignment of the eyes (strabismus or squint)
  • double vision (diplopia)
  • reduced vision (amblyopia)

What you’ll do as an orthoptist

You’ll see a huge variety of patients and help them with many different issues as an orthoptist. Some examples of things you might work on include:

  • assessing the vision of babies and small children including children with special needs
  • ensuring speedy rehabilitation of patients who have suffered stroke or brain injuries
  • diagnosing and monitoring long term eye conditions such as glaucoma

Variety is one of the most exciting things about being an orthoptist. As well as seeing different patients and conditions you’ll also have the opportunity to work independently as well as part of a multi-disciplinary team including consultant eye surgeons (ophthalmologists), optometrists and nurses.

Treatments can include eye patches, glasses or exercises. Some eye problems, such as double vision, may be indicators of other health problems including multiple sclerosis or tumour. You’ll play an important part in spotting these serious conditions.

Most orthoptists work in the NHS. You may work in an eye hospital, hospital eye department or a community health centre. You may also visit schools, including special schools. Outside the NHS, you may work in private clinics.

You’ll work independently or with other eye specialists such as consultant eye surgeons (ophthalmologists), optometrists and nurses. You may work in multidisciplinary teams dealing with, for example, children or stroke patients.

How to become an orthoptist

To become an orthoptist you’ll need to train and study for an undergraduate degree. Entry requirements vary depending on where you’d like to study. You can find the orthoptics course to suit you using our Course Finder tool.

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/allied-health-professionals/roles-allied-health-professions/orthoptist

*Information taken from Health Careers website

Paramedic Science

Paramedics have a highly responsible role, often being the senior ambulance service healthcare professional in a range of emergency and non-emergency situations.  You will be one of the first healthcare professionals to arrive at the scene.

Working life

Paramedics are usually the senior member of a two-person ambulance crew, with an emergency care assistant or technician to support them.

“Most of all, I love the feeling that I’ve helped others in their moment of need”

Read Elisha’s story

Or you might work on your own, using a motorbike, emergency response car or a bicycle to reach your patients. You might also work to provide advice over the telephone from a control room or clinical ‘hub’.

You will assess the patient’s condition and make potentially life-saving decisions about whether the patient can be treated at the scene or transferred to hospital. In non-life-threatening situations, you’ll use your professional judgement to make key clinical decisions.

In an emergency, you’ll use high-tech equipment such as defibrillators (which restore the heart’s rhythm), spinal and traction splints and intravenous drips, as well as administering oxygen and drugs.

You will be trained to drive what is in effect a mobile emergency clinic and to resuscitate and/or stabilise patients using sophisticated techniques, equipment and drugs. For example, you might be called out to someone who has fallen from scaffolding or an elderly person with a suspected stroke.

You will be trained to resuscitate and/or stabilise patients using sophisticated techniques, equipment and drugs.

As well as contact with your patients, you will also deal with their relatives and friends and members of the public, some of whom might be highly distressed or aggressive. You will also often work alongside the police and fire and rescue services.

Based at a local ambulance station, you will work shifts, including evenings and weekends, going out in all weathers at all hours of the night or day. You will work closely with other healthcare teams in the community, such as:

  • GPs
  • occupational therapists
  • mental health teams
  • diabetes specialists
  • doctors and nurses in hospital emergency departments

During your career, you may have the opportunity to undertake further higher education to progress to one of the roles for experienced paramedics.

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/allied-health-professionals/roles-allied-health-professions/paramedic

*Information taken from Health Careers website

Pharmacy

Pharmacists are experts in medicine and their use. They also offer health advice to patients on issues such as sexual health and giving up smoking.

Working life

Medicines are the most common treatments offered to NHS patients. A pharmacist is an expert in medicines and their use. Their knowledge of medicines and the effect they have on the human body is critical for the successful management of every type of medical condition.

Pharmacists:

  • advise other healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, on how to choose medicines and use them correctly
  • ensure that new medicines are safe to use with other medication
  • advise on dosage and suggest the most appropriate form of medication such as tablet, injection, ointment or inhaler
  • make sure that patients use their medicines safely
  • provide information to patients on how get the maximum benefit from the medicines they are prescribed
  • advise on the most effective treatments for a particular condition including those for sale without prescription
  • help patients manage long term conditions
  • recommend changes to prescriptions and give advice on prescribing
  • provide information about potential side effects
  • monitor the effects of treatment to ensure that it is safe and effective

Pharmacists are also involved in manufacturing medicines when ready-made preparations are not available. For example, certain cancer treatments and intravenous feeding solutions need to be tailor made under sterile conditions for individual patients.

You may choose to specialise in a particular area of practice

Pharmacists work as part of healthcare teams in hospitals or community pharmacies. Some work in retail pharmacies in supermarkets or on the high street, or for other employers that provide NHS services. Community pharmacists are based in health centres or pharmacies but they may spend time visiting patients at home or in residential homes.

Pharmacists may also supervise pharmacy technician and pharmacy assistants in purchasing, quality testing or dispensing medicines.

Entry requirements

To practise as a pharmacist, you have to be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). To register, you need to study for an accredited Masters degree in pharmacy (MPharm). Universities across the UK offer the course, which lasts four years, full time. Use our course finder to find out where you can study pharmacy.

To get onto a Master’s course in pharmacy you need three A-B grade A-levels in chemistry and biology, maths or physics along with five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language, maths and at least one science.

Or you could use alternative qualifications, including:

  • foundation degree in pharmacy
  • BTEC, HND or HNC which includes science
  • relevant NVQ
  • science-based access course
  • equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications

However, each institution sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully. Wherever you study, you will need to show that you have an understanding of pharmacy and how it benefits patients. It is a good idea to spend some time with a registered pharmacist to see what the work is like.

After university, to become a fully qualified pharmacist you’ll need to:

  • work for a 1-year pre-registration period under supervision in a community or hospital pharmacy
  • pass a registration exam

Skills and personal characteristics needed

Pharmacists need to be:

  • accurate and methodical
  • able to understand and apply the law
  • responsible
  • interested in people’s health
  • willing to supervise others
  • able to work with all types of people
  • able to explain clearly to members of the public
  • communication skills including listening
  • good customer skills
  • science skills

Training and development

Once qualified, many pharmacists join the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). Registered pharmacists have to keep their skills and knowledge up to date with annual continuing professional development (CPD). The RPS runs courses, conferences and seminars where pharmacists can exchange ideas and update their skills.

Experienced pharmacists can do additional training and qualifications to allow them to prescribe medicines.

Career Planning for Healthcare Professionals programme

Health Education England has developed an e-learning programme for healthcare professionals including pre-registration / foundation pharmacists, to help them make informed career choices and effective applications for their next career steps.

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/pharmacy/roles-pharmacy/pharmacist

*Information taken from Health Careers website

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists work with people to help with a range of problems which affect movement using exercise, massage and other techniques.

Working life

You’ll help and treat people with physical problems caused by illness, injury, disability or ageing. You’ll see human movement as central to the health and wellbeing of individuals so they aim to identify and maximise movement. As well as treating people, you promote good health and advise people on how to avoid injury.

You’ll treat many types of conditions, such as:

  • neurological (stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s)
  • neuromusculoskeletal (back pain, whiplash associated disorder, sports injuries, arthritis)
  • cardiovascular (chronic heart disease, rehabilitation after heart attack)
  • respiratory (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis)

Once they have diagnosed the client’s movement problem, you’ll then work with the patient to  decide how to treat it. This could include:

  • manual therapy (such as massage)
  • therapeutic exercise
  • electrotherapy (such as ultrasound, heat or cold)

In the NHS, you may work in hospitals where you’re needed in nearly every department. In intensive care, for example, you’re needed for round-the-clock chest physiotherapy to keep unconscious patients breathing.

You may also work in:

  • outpatients’ departments
  • women’s health
  • elderly care
  • stroke services
  • orthopaedics
  • mental health and learning disability services
  • occupational health
  • paediatrics

More physiotherapy is also being delivered in the local community so you could be based in health centres and  treat patients in their own homes, nursing homes, day centres or schools.

You could also work outside the NHS, for example in:

  • private hospitals and clinics
  • sports clubs and gyms
  • private practice

Wherever you work, you can choose from a range of equipment to use with patients such as gyms, hydrotherapy and high-tech equipment for specialist therapy.

You may work alone or in a team alongside health and/or social care professionals. Depending on where you work, this could include occupational therapists, GPs, health visitors, district nurses and social workers. You may supervise the work of support workers such as physiotherapy assistants.

Outside the NHS, you could work with sports coaches or personal trainers.

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/allied-health-professionals/roles-allied-health-professions/physiotherapist

*Information taken from Health Careers website

 

Podiatry

Podiatry is an exciting and varied career. It offers you the chance to make a difference, a high degree of flexibility and excellent employment prospects. You’ll work with patients every day to help improve their care and their lives.

Working life

You’ll work with people who have difficulties carrying out these activities because of disability, illness, trauma, ageing, and a range of long term conditions.

“Occupational therapy allows you to make a difference to people’s lives across the community which is something that really appeals to me about the career.” Rachel Rule, occupational therapy student.

Read Rachel’s story in full

What you’ll do as an occupational therapist

You’ll see a huge variety of patients and help them with many different issues as an occupational therapist. Some examples of things you might work on include:

  • helping someone adapt to life after major surgery
  • helping people suffering from mental illness get back into everyday activities such as work or volunteering
  • helping elderly people stay in their own homes by providing adaptations such as level access showers or stair lifts

Variety is one of the most exciting things about being an occupational therapist. As well as seeing different patients and conditions you’ll also have the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary team in a range of settings from hospitals and clinics to charities, prisons and social services departments

You’ll find solutions to everyday problems, for example:

  • advising on how to approach a task differently
  • using equipment or assistive technology
  • adapting the living or working environment
  • finding strategies to meet an individual’s goals

Illness, injury, disability or ageing can make ordinary tasks such daily care (washing, dressing, eating), work or education and leisure harder to do. You’ll help people find ways to continue with activities that are important to them. This might involve learning new ways to do things, or making changes to their environment to make things easier.

As well as working with individual patients and their families, occupational therapists work with groups. They work in teams with other health professionals. They may also supervise the work of occupational therapy support workers.

How to become an occupational therapist

To become an occupational therapist you’ll need to train and study at undergraduate degree level (through a full-time course or degree apprenticeship) or if you already have a relevant degree, at Masters level through a 2-year accelerated programme. Entry requirements vary depending on where you’d like to study. You can search for occupational therapy courses using our Course Finder tool.

Find out more about entry requirements and training to become an occupational therapist

“Helping to find solutions and deliver therapy that improves children’s health and quality of life is really satisfying.” Anne Gordon, paediatric occupational therapist

Read Anne’s story in full

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/allied-health-professionals/roles-allied-health-professions/podiatrist

*Information taken from Health Careers website 

Speech & Language Therapist

Speech & Language Therapy is an exciting and varied career. It offers you the chance to make a difference, a high degree of flexibility and excellent employment prospects. You’ll work with patients every day to help improve their care and their lives.

Working life

Speech and language therapists provide life-changing treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing.You’ll help people who, for physical or psychological reasons, have problems speaking and communicating. Patients range from children whose speech is slow to develop, to older people whose ability to speak has been impaired by illness or injury. It also includes treatment for those who have difficulty with eating or swallowing.

What you’ll do as a speech and language therapist

You’ll see a huge variety of patients and help them with many different issues as a speech and language therapist. Some examples of things you might work on include:

  • helping adults and children with learning difficulties communicate with others
  • helping people overcome their stammering
  • helping adults with speech difficulties as a result of head, neck or throat cancer

Variety is one of the most exciting things about being a speech and language therapist. As well as seeing different patients and conditions you’ll also have the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary team in a range of settings from hospitals to community clinics to the homes of patients.

You’ll also help children with:

  • mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties
  • physical disabilities
  • language delay
  • specific difficulties in producing sounds
  • hearing impairment
  • cleft lip and palate
  • stammering
  • autism/social interaction difficulties
  • dyslexia
  • voice disorders
  • selective mutism
  • mental health
  • developmental language disorder.

You’ll help adults with:

  • communication or eating and swallowing problems following neurological impairments and degenerative conditions, including stroke, head injury, Parkinson’s disease and dementia
  • voice problems
  • mental health issues
  • learning difficulties
  • physical disabilities
  • stammering
  • hearing impairment

You would also work closely with teachers and other health professionals, such as doctors, nurses and psychologists. They may also supervise the work of speech and language therapy assistants.

How to become a speech and language therapist

To become a speech and language therapist you’ll need to train and study at degree or postgraduate level. Entry requirements vary depending on where you’d like to study. You can find the speech and language therapy course to suit you using our Course Finder tool. A degree apprenticeship standard has also been approved.

Want to know more?

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/allied-health-professionals/roles-allied-health-professions/speech-and-language-therapist

*Information taken from Health Careers website