Taking and abstracting histories, applying adequate recording electrodes and using EEG, EP, and PSG techniques; documenting the condition of the patients.
Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic
Practice out-of-hospital medicine in conjunction with medical direction. The asses and provide medical care, goal is to prevent death due to injury or illness.
Consulting individuals with birth defects or genetic disorder.
Health Information Management
Related to the management of health information and the systems used to collect, store, process, retrieve, analyze, disseminate, and communicate that info.
Treats the effects of disease, injury, and congenital disorders through the use of therapeutic exercise and education.
Work under the supervision of physicians in their offices or other medical settings.
Create visual material designed to facilitate the recording and dissemination of medical, biological, and related knowledge.
Music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address individuals’ physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Uses nuclear properties of radioactive and stable nuclides to make diagnostic evaluations and provide therapy.
Uses purposeful activity and interventions to achieve functional outcomes to maximize health of injured or ill.
Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician
Fit corrective eyewear, including glasses and contact lenses.
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician
Cut, grind, edge and finish lenses and fabricate eyewear.
Ophthalmic Medical Technician/Technologist
Assists ophthalmologists by administration work and collection of data.
Evaluation and treatment of disorders of vision, eye movements, and eye alignment in adults and children.
Orthotist and Prosthetist
www.oandp.com/academy or www.oandp.org
Rehabilitation of the physically challenged.
Conduct extracorporeal circulation and auto transfusion equipment temporarily.
Help improve patients’ strength and mobility, relieve pain, and prevent permanent physical damage.
Prepared to practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy.
Deliver prescribed doses of radiation to patients for therapeutic purposes.
Determines and coordinates services to assist people with disabilities.
Provides respiratory care.
Assist surgeons to provide surgical care.
Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
Uses various interventions to treat physical, cognitive, emotional, and social conditions associated with illness, injury or disabilities.
Health Professions Career and Education Directory. American Medical Association, 2000.
Other Licensed Professionals
Besides doctors, nurses, and administrators there are other professions that are important to the health care system. Rehabilitation counselors, Occupational therapists, and Physical therapist are some of the few licensed professionals that are not given very much attention in the medical field. Each profession plays an important role to its patients and with their specialized care they provide.
Rehabilitation counselors have various backgrounds which include public health nursing, social work, and school counselining5. Rehabilitation counselors work with persons who have a disability, where they encourage psychological, emotional, and economic growth5. Furthermore, counselors aid patients who have other disabilities such as mental and emotional along with physical. Some additional tasks of rehabilitation counselors include: assist patients in locating and keeping employment, break down social barriers that the society creates for disabled individuals, aid in the disabled to create a bond between themselves and family and friends, they assist in training individuals so they are more independent, and encourage good job performance and progress in daily living4,5. There are a range of jobs and areas that a counselor may be employed however, they must be certified through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) in addition to training programs that last up to two years. Approximately 43 million Americans have some disability and having rehabilitation counselor’s assist with their lives, jobs, and relationships the disabled will have better quality of life5.
Occupational therapists are similar to Rehabilitation counselors because they both assist disabled individuals and aid them into a “normal” way of life. First, the patient is evaluated to observe the type of therapy needed with tests which measure the skills of the person. After the tests are interpreted the treatment or training begins with education, consultation with the individual and or their family5. Victims of accidents which have left them disabled are assisted with therapy by skills such as weaving, knitting, and other intricate projects. Other similar activities provide a creative skill which assists the patients in restoring their lost ability4.
In addition, Occupational therapist can also be considered one of several Home care specialists because they may make home visits and plan educational, recreational, and social activities to aid the patients regain their bodily functions6. The optimum goal of occupational therapist is to have their patients become independent even with their handicaps. The goals of occupational therapists are similar to rehabilitation counselor, which is for optimum health and well being in addition to the patient being independent.
Occupational therapists must have a bachelor’s degree and afterwards they take an examination to be certified for their state of residence, where the state regulates the practices of therapist5.
Physical therapists work with a broad range of individuals; they work with patients recovering from accidents to Olympic atlethes5. They use methods such as exercise, massage, ultrasound, electricity, heat, cold, and water to increase the mobility of patients, relieve pain, and improve muscle and skin condition5, 6. Physical therapists have a detailed job in evaluating patients such as providing the family with proper training instructions to assist in the care of the patient. Along with a extensive skills involved in treating a patient a physical therapist does not need to only work in a hospital, they are employed in many other areas, such as sports facilities, health care centers, and nursing homes. There is a great need for physical therapists that provide home health care. Attending therapy session is a task for the patient and their family. This entails the family taking time out of their schedule to take the patient to the hospital to provide therapy; however, with the ease of having a therapist do home-visits is easier for the family and patient. Moreover, life expectancy is very high for Americans today, so there are a growing number of elderly individuals (baby boom) that require physical therapy after a surgery. Equally important is our love of sports in the US, we have many athletes that push their limits daily, however, in doing so they have an increased number of injuries which leads to surgery afterward receiving physical therapy.
Physical therapists have a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and attain a certification by the state which gives them the license to practice.
These are only a few of licensed professionals that are important in the functions of the health care system. We’ve noticed that simple surgery is not enough to retain a good quality of life, therefore having counselors and therapist is very important in patient care.
So far we’ve discussed health care professionals that provide care of some sort, with primary or secondary care. However, coordinators within a hospital do not provide care, but services. A Healthcare manager can have one task or many such as planning, engineering, administration, application, and policy5. Planning refers to strategic efforts engineering is designing modes and the flow of the department, administration is handling various information and organizing it, application is analyzing and using the data for attaining information, and policy is implementing confidentiality, integrity and other standards within the hospital5.
Most healthcare managers have tasks based on the work environment so there are no specific duties that are assigned on a daily basis, however the main skill the manager should have and implement is to run the health care system as smoothly as possible. Being the bridge between doctors and drug, insurance, or other companies is a difficult task for an individual to handle. So the employees work as a team to function as a good system. Another responsibility the health manager faces is the serving as an information service; such as clinical quality assessment so the data is used properly and effectively5.
The Health and Human Services Department is an example of a large administrator employee. Within the federal government it resides over 12 major divisions like the Administration for Children and Families with provides services to encourage the proper and healthy development of children7. Programs such as this allow the assistance programs to run properly and with managers with skills to run a healthcare system the entire organizations are able to assist children and families.
For more information on Healthcare Manager see chapter three.
Lastly, there has been controversy between the roles of physicians, physicians assistant, and nurse practitioners. Nurse Practitioners are RNs who have received specialized training who work under a physician similarly to a physician assistant. A physicians assistant is fully capable of practicing medicine but under the supervision of a physician5. Nurse practitioners practice mainly primary care and which is well received by patients. However, individual states have authority to allow NPs to practice independently, but the majority of states require the supervision of physicians1. All three are able to prescribe medications. Nevertheless, physicians have more training which means that PA and NPs will always have to report to physicians. Moreover, if all doctors, assistants, and nurses work together with separate duties will allow for better and effective patient care.
The medical field requires an individual to be extremely disciplined and devoted to their career. Doctors are extremely respected for their knowledge, devotion and hard work that made them a doctor. The healthcare system may or may not always acknowledge the difficulty of their careers, but hopefully this chapter has made readers more aware of some different professions and importance of each profession. Doctors and nurses are backbones of the medical field but it takes more than a backbone for a human to function. There are many more professions that were not mentioned in the chapter that contribute a great deal to the healthcare system. With some introductory knowledge an individual may want to explore other options and hopefully want to pursue a career in the medial area.
1. “Medicine”. Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001. http://encarta.msn.com
2. Howell, Joel. Osteopathy vs. Traditional Doctor. N England J Med. 1999; 341:1426-1431, 1465-1467.
3. Miller M. Health Care Choices for Today, a Consumers Guide to Quality and Cost. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1997.
4. Selden, A. Handbook of Health Care Careers. Lincolnwood: VGM Career Horizons, 1994.
5. Health Professions Career and Education Directory. American Medical Association, 2000.
6. Cardoza, A. Homecare Services Careers. Lincolnwood: VGM Career Horizons, 1993.
7. “Health and Human Services”. Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001. http://encarta.msn.com
8. Belshaw, Chris. Osteopathy Is it for you? Element Books limited, 1987.
9. Fabb, W., Fry, J. Principles of practice management in Primary care. Lancaster: MTP Press, 1984.
10. Stephen, William. An analysis of primary medical care: an international study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.