Community Health Care – Strengthening the Relationships Among Healthcare Providers and Patients
Healthcare is the care or development of healthcare in humans through the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, cure, or rehabilitation of disease, condition, injury, and disability in individuals. Healthcare is usually delivered by healthcare professionals and other associated healthcare fields. Healthcare includes direct patient care and medical, dental, nursing, and laboratory services. There are many types of healthcare including pediatric care, geriatric care, disaster relief services, and occupational healthcare. Some healthcare occupations include speech language pathologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, psychiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, pediatricians, and nurses.
In the United States, there are approximately 3 million healthcare providers, technicians, and hospital workers. The average annual wage for persons working in the health care industry is about forty-seven thousand dollars. The average age of workers in the health care industry is rising, due to an aging population and childbirth.
Healthcare costs continue to increase, partly due to an aging population, and the need to provide quality health care services. A well-rounded healthcare provider will try to avoid unnecessary tests and procedures, and focus on providing a comprehensive set of medical services that will address the needs of their patients. Healthcare professionals must have a wide range of knowledge and training in various disciplines, such as anatomy, physiology, diagnostics, nursing, pharmacology, surgery, and professional standards for specific medical treatments. Healthcare providers are also required to work under strict time schedules, which can be stressful and demanding for some. Some healthcare professionals are self-employed, while others work in healthcare groups, medical offices, hospitals, hospices, or private practices.
Healthcare education prepares students to work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, primary care physicians’ offices, specialty clinics, and voluntary health care facilities. Healthcare education also prepares students to work in administrative positions in doctor’s offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and government agencies. In addition, healthcare professionals who decide to work in a different healthcare setting can benefit from continuing their education and obtaining certification in a new field of interest. As more healthcare professionals retire or move to other positions, healthcare education provides them with the flexibility to continue specializing in their area of expertise.
Individuals who choose to specialize in a certain field may not find it financially or professionally convenient to provide primary care to family or friends. For these individuals, they may work as healthcare providers or volunteers at a community action program, assisting other individuals with medical problems and providing information on local resources. Community action programs are often funded by insurance companies looking for ways to reduce health insurance claims, and they may include medical care providers, free or low-cost health care centers, and nutrition programs. Community action programs are usually focused on issues that affect the racial or ethnic communities, such as poverty, drug abuse, unhealthy eating, and physical education.
Another way to strengthen the ties between healthcare professionals, patients, and the communities in which they practice is through the establishment of healthcare team clubs. Healthcare team clubs are designed for members of the healthcare team to work together to solve health-related problems within the community. Within the club, members learn about issues affecting the healthcare community, such as smoking prevalence, substance abuse, nutritional concerns, and pregnancy outcomes. By engaging in these types of activities, healthcare team members are able to work together towards a common goal.