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Professionals in the healthcare industry are often referred to as allied health professionals which usually need formal training before they are hired, for example, medical assistants , dental hygienists and assistants, phlebotomists , physical therapists and physical therapy assistants, hemodialysis technicians, laboratory technicians, electrocardiographic technicians, x-ray technicians, medical secretaries, and medical coders and billers all belong to the ever growing group of allied health professionals, and their subspecialties.

The explosion of scientific knowledge that followed World War II brought increasingly sophisticated and complex diagnostic and treatment procedures to the science of medicine. In additon, increasing medical and health care costs have created a trend away from treating patients in hospitals toward the provision of care in physician's private and group practices, and ambulatory medical and emergency clinics. What followed was an increase in the need for expertly trained healthcare delivering personnel.

As their job descriptions become more specialised, they must adhere to national training and educaton standards, their professional scope of practice, and often prove their skills through diplomas and certified credentials. All members of the allied health professions must be proficient in the use of medical terminology and spelling, basics of medical law and ethics, understand human relations, possess excellent interpersonal communication skills, be computer literate, able to document healthcare information, have telephone skills, and be proficient in typing, electronic dictation, and word processing.