Healthcare is the medical care or enhancement of healthcare in people through the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, or healing of disease, illness, impairment, and other bodily and mental impairments. Healthcare is delivered by healthcare professionals and associated health professions. Professional healthcare workers include doctors, nurses, dentists, therapists, physicians, nurses’ aides, and others.
Healthcare delivery involves the use of healthcare professionals to deliver healthcare services to patients. It includes the administration of treatments and medicines, direct patient care, education and counseling, therapy and related procedures, maintenance of the patient’s condition, and management of the patient’s resources. There are different types of healthcare professionals involved in providing healthcare services. These include licensed healthcare professionals like surgeons, physicians, and nurses. Other healthcare providers include nursing personnel, physical therapist, and technicians. There are also caregivers and aids for disabled and physically sick persons, including attendants, therapy dogs, and assistance for home care.
The scope of healthcare includes extended care facilities or custodial healthcare, geriatric care, palliative care, postoperative care, management of chronic and acute illnesses, pediatric, geriatric, orthopedic, rheumatoid, and occupational healthcare, and clinical trials. Most hospitals offer rehabilitation, patient care, surgery, and intensive care units. Most institutions also provide laboratory, radiology, diagnostic imaging, and dental services for a wide range of diseases and conditions. There are also community-based clinics that provide medical care to uninsured individuals, such as low-income health centers, primary care facilities, nursing homes, hospices, and non-profit organizations. Some of these centers are also referred to as nursing homes.
A patient can choose from private health insurance plans and public health care plans. Private health insurance plans generally cover the expenses for the doctor’s office and hospital but may not cover other healthcare providers such as nurses, surgeons, and specialists. On the other hand, public healthcare plans allow for a wider range of health care providers and coverage, but usually have fewer restrictions on the health care providers. People with public health insurance plans should check the health insurance plan requirements in their state before choosing a healthcare provider.
The role of a primary care physician is to make medical diagnoses, recommend treatments, evaluate the condition of patients, prescribe medicines and procedures, and refer patients to other healthcare providers or specialists. A primary care physician can specialize in a particular medical field, such as pediatrics, family medicine, adult medicine, pediatrics, or women’s healthcare. Primary care physicians can acquire additional specialized degrees, including professional degrees in advanced practices in healthcare such as population management, prevention and wellness programs, and occupational medicine. However, it is important to note that even though these doctors have more education and training, they are not licensed to provide specific healthcare services. For example, if a patient needs an operation to treat a broken hip, a primary care physician could treat the broken hip as a sports injury and refer the patient to a specialist for treatment.
A few healthcare professionals deal exclusively with emergency healthcare. Emergency healthcare professionals are trained professionals who handle acute medical conditions that have taken hold of a hospital, nursing home, or other medical facility. They receive specialized training to handle dangerous or unpredictable situations, and they work closely with doctors and nurses. Some hospitals employ only emergency healthcare workers, while others employ a whole staff of emergency healthcare workers including doctors, nurses, paramedics, and emergency medical technician specialists. Although they may not have all the same training and certifications as full-time doctors and nurses, emergency healthcare workers are often needed in very critical situations.