Allied Health professionals
Information and resources for Allied Health professionals
An audiologist is a professional who diagnoses, habilitates, and counsels individuals with hearing loss, tinnitus, balance, auditory processing, and other related disorders. As well, audiologists also supervise, administer and conduct hearing conservation programs. Audiologists hold a Master's (M.S.) or Doctoral (Au.D. or Ph.D.) degree from an accredited university postgraduate program.
Their academic and clinical training provides the foundation for patient management for people of all ages, from birth through adulthood. Audiologists determine appropriate patient treatment by combining a complete history with a variety of specialized auditory and vestibular assessments, often working within interdisciplinary teams. Based upon the diagnosis, the audiologist presents a variety of treatment options to patients. Audiologists dispense and fit hearing aids as part of a comprehensive habilitative program, often including auditory training and speech reading classes.
As a primary hearing health provider, audiologists refer patients to physicians when the hearing or balance problem requires medical or surgical intervention.
Registered Dietitians are experts in the science of food and human nutrition.
Clinical Dietetics complete nutrition assessments and recommend and implement therapeutic care plans for patients. Community Nutritionists complete community assessments and utilize health promotion strategies (education, advocacy, policy development, community development, collaborative research) to aim for a healthy population and prevent/reduce chronic disease. The Community Care Facilities Licensing Nutritionist utilizes nutrition standards and policies to protect the nutritional health and safety of residents/clients in care.
The VCH Regional Laboratory Medicine provides a full range of laboratory services to patients within Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and other healthcare facilities across the province. The network of nine laboratory facilities offers STAT, routine, and specialized testing in Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Chemistry, Hematopathology, Microbiology, Transfusion Medicine, Cytogenetics, and Transplant Immunology.
The laboratory’s specialty services have been developed with an emphasis on Bone Marrow and Solid Organ Transplantation, Oncology, Neurosciences and Trauma, thus supporting the various clinical services within VCH.
The VCH Regional Laboratory Medicine is involved in research activities, collaborating with clinical and university-based researchers. Our laboratories are also active as major teaching centres, working with educational institutions for the training of medical personnel, including physicians, technologists, and laboratory assistants.
Music therapy is defined by the Canadian Association for Music Therapy (CAMT) as the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist. It is a discipline which combines the use of music with the personal qualities of the therapist as a treatment for rehabilitating, maintaining, and improving the lives of persons with emotional, cognitive, social, spiritual, psychological and physical needs.
Music therapy has been shown to be effective with people of all ages and abilities. Whether the challenges be physical, emotional or psychological, a visit to a music therapist may prove beneficial.
Within a session, any or all of the following might take place:
- songwriting or music composition
- singing or playing familiar music
- listening to recorded music (CDs)
- improvising (making up) music
Occupational therapy is based on research which shows that an individual's ability to engage in occupation increases their health and well-being and promotes participation in their community.
"Occupation" refers to the activities that people do every day to occupy their time and to bring meaning and purpose to life. Occupations include things people need to, want to, and are expected to do in all aspects of life such as taking care of oneself and others, working, volunteering, and participating in hobbies, interests and social activities.
Occupational therapy starts with an assessment to understand what occupations are important to the client and to identify current issues in doing them. Different approaches are used including:
- Building their knowledge and skills through training, education and counseling
- Adjusting the environment in which the occupation is done, such as home, school or work
- Adjusting the occupation itself by finding new ways of doing it
- Prescribing devices and specialized equipment to make doing activities easier
Where we work
Over 400 occupational therapists (OTs) are employed at VCH and work in urban and rural communities in acute, residential, home, rehabilitation, school, mental health, substance use and primary care settings.
Come work with us: VCH Occupational Therapy opportunities
Provincial Regulatory Body - College of Occupational Therapists of BC (COTBC)
Canadian Association - Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)
Provincial Academic Program - UBC Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
International Educated Occupational Therapists
Physiotherapy entails treatment of the human body by physical or mechanical means. Intervention includes manipulation, massage, exercise, the application of bandages, hydrotherapy, and medical electricity, for the therapeutic purpose of maintaining or restoring function that has been impaired by injury or disease.
Physiotherapists can help you achieve your highest level of physical functioning (at any stage of life) by providing you with a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs.
VCH Psychologists are Doctoral-level specialists trained in a wide range of theoretical orientations, assessment methods and treatment models. Psychologists in VCH acute hospital and community health care settings typically function as part of multidisciplinary teams within designated inpatient and outpatient programs. VCH psychologists may be involved in some, or all, of the following activities:
- Assessment of behavioural and mental conditions
- Diagnosis of neuropsychological disorders and dysfunctions
- Diagnosis of psychotic, neurotic or personality disorders and dysfunctions
- Prevention and treatment of behavioural and mental disorders
- Maintenance of physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning
- Research/academic pursuits
Therapeutic Recreation was established to facilitate the development and or expression of meaningful leisure involvement for older persons or those with illness or disability. Therapeutic Recreation is a purposeful intervention that uses recreation to bring about health restoration and has the potential to enhance health or produce high-level wellness.
Therapeutic recreation specialists provide recreation to meet the physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual and social needs of people they serve. Connecting with a therapeutic recreation specialist not only increases awareness of the endless recreation possibilities available but also bridges the gap between successful community integration and the person with a disability.
Respiratory therapy is the assessment and treatment of cardio-respiratory and associated disorders through the performance of therapeutic interventions and operation of cardio-respiratory equipment to maintain or restore ventilation for the prevention and treatment of illness, health promotion and maintenance.
- Home Oxygen Program: (604) 301-3814
Social workers work with people who have physical or mental health concerns, with families in crisis, with victims of trauma, etc. Working with individuals, families and groups, however, is only part of the picture. Many social workers work on a larger scale, providing services to improve social conditions and plan for better communities.
Speech Language Pathology
The role of the Speech Language Pathologist is to identify, assess, evaluate, treat, manage, educate and help to prevent language, speech, voice, fluency, cognitive, and other related communication disorders, as well as swallowing problems.
These difficulties may be caused by a variety of health problems including:
- strokes and tumours
- degenerative disease such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, ALS
- genetic disorders such as cleft palate, hearing loss, learning disabilities, delayed development and traumatic brain injury
- in some cases the cause may be unknown.
Referrals to a speech-language pathologist are made by doctors or other health care workers, public health nurses, infant development specialists, teachers, family members or others that are involved in the care of the individual. Self-referrals are also made.
Spiritual Care supports patients, residents and families experiencing the emotional, and spiritual crises that can arise during times of illness or trauma. Spiritual Care Practitioners work with persons of all beliefs regardless of their affiliation with any particular religion. Persons who identify as agnostic, atheist or humanist may be assured that their world views will be respected as much as persons affiliated with any religious group. Spiritual Care Practitioners are highly trained in assisting persons to work through the thoughts and feelings that often arise when one is facing the most difficult of life experiences. In addition to providing a supportive interpersonal connection, each person is assisted in accessing their own inner wisdom and strength. Our Spiritual Care staff can also put persons in touch with spiritual or religious care providers from their own faith community if so desired.
To discover more about Spiritual Care and Multi-faith services, visit the spiritual care webpage.
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselling
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselling services utilize a client-centred approach to focus on supporting persons with disabilities (e.g., physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities, mental health conditions, chronic health) to explore their vocational interests and develop suitable employment goals or work-related activities.
Vocational rehab counsellor/coordinator works in a multidisciplinary team setting in acute and community programs. They aim to improve client's well-being, assist with the client's vocational goal setting/activity planning, enhance the client's employment readiness and support their reintegration into the workforce. Some of the interventions involve career exploration, vocational counselling, job search strategies, volunteering, supported employment, return to work planning, and recommending job accommodations.