The Future of Allied Health: Health Coaching

Posted Jun 16, 2021

The Master of Science in Allied Health (MSAH) program is thrilled to announce our partnership with Wellcoaches to provide students with the foundational skills needed to begin a career in health and wellness coaching as well as the acquisition of additional interpersonal skills.

What is health and wellness coaching?

Health and wellness coaching is a growing field that allows health professionals to assist clients in pursuing enhanced health and wellbeing. According to the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching, health coaches partner with individuals in a self-directed wellness enhancing process to produce lasting change aligned with the client’s values (NBHWC, 2020; Home – NBHWC).  Health coaches employ traditional health promotion strategies such as motivational interviewing, health theory implementation, and goal-setting as a companion on the journey to pursue health. 

Unlike the traditional role of exercise physiologist, trainer, sports coach, or medical professional, the coach assumes the role of active listener, not expert, in order to provide a growth promoting atmosphere for sustainable change (Wellcoaches, 2020). Health coaches may operate independently or within health care practices, in workplace or community wellness centers, and can also use their skills in any healthcare setting. 

The art of coaching and active listening is an asset to any individual in the health and wellness industry. Health coaching has improved patient outcomes amongst those with chronic conditions (Singh et al., 2020) as well as aid behavior modification associated with cardiovascular disease risk (An & Song, 2020). The American Medical Association approved new CPT codes for health and wellness coaching in December 2019 and continues to progress.  It is an exciting time to be involved in the implementation of health coaching!

Health and Wellness Coaching at Otterbein

Students in both the Healthcare Administration and Exercise and Health Science tracks may take MSAH 6700: Wellcoaches Health Coaching for both graduate credit and complete module 1 through Wellcoaches. Students will then have the option of completing modules 2-3 with Wellcoaches to become certified. Students will also explore the coaching literature in their chosen field and explore how to apply the Wellcoaches concepts in their current allied health roles. 

The MSAH 6700 course is also open to those interested in exploring health coaching or for continuing education credit. Allied Health is consistently evolving to meet the health needs of our communities. Health coaching’s increased prominence is a welcome addition to the field and provides MSAH graduates with another way to advance health and wellness.

Erica Van Dop
MSAH Graduate Director

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