Healthcare, or medical-care is the improvement or maintenance of good health through the diagnosis, management, treatment, or recovery of health problems, illnesses, injuries, and any other physical or mental impairments in individuals. Health care services are offered by specialized healthcare professionals in allied healthcare fields.
Healthcare services include treating acute illness and injuries, improving general health, providing rehabilitation services, testing for, diagnosing, treating, and preventing various diseases, and assisting individuals and families in maintaining their good health. There are several healthcare fields that have been specialized for the delivery of healthcare services. These specific healthcare fields are referred to as allied healthcare and include nursing, geriatrics, physical therapy, pharmacy technician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, medical laboratory technician, podiatrist, surgeon, anesthesiologist, radiological technician, physician assistant, registered nurse, dental hygienist, pharmacy technician, and medical office manager.
The various medical conditions that can be treated through healthcare services are: acute illness or injury, general medicine, surgery, and rehabilitation. These can be treated in a variety of medical settings, such as a hospital, surgical center, rehabilitation center, nursing care facility, hospice, home care agency, school health center, and long-term care facility. In addition, some conditions may require more specialized services, which may be provided in private clinics, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. Examples of medical conditions that may require healthcare include cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, heart attack, kidney failure, asthma, and epilepsy.
Healthcare professionals can be categorized into three different groups. They are licensed healthcare providers, certified health care providers, and non-licensed health care providers. Licensed healthcare professionals are those who are licensed by the state in which they practice, which includes physicians, nurses, counselors, therapists, and therapists who have completed a training program that provides a minimum amount of experience in providing healthcare services. Certified health care providers are those who are licensed by another state but have not completed an approved training program. For example, a pharmacist in California who wants to work in Texas would be licensed in California but would not be certified in Texas.
Certified healthcare providers are licensed and insured by the state in which they practice. They are allowed to practice on patients in the same state in which they provide their healthcare services. Non-licensed healthcare providers are not licensed but are required to complete an approved training program to prove to the state that they have received a minimum amount of training necessary to provide healthcare services in a specific area of healthcare.
Non-licensed healthcare providers are healthcare workers who are not licensed by the state in which they practice. They may be self-employed, work as independent contractors, or be hired or contracted by organizations that provide healthcare services. Examples of non-licensed healthcare workers are: chiropractors, personal trainers, home health aides, personal shoppers, nutritionists, and massage therapists. Some non-licensed healthcare workers are employed by agencies and are not formally licensed or insured by a state.
In addition to a number of healthcare providers, there are several categories of health care workers, who are also called health services workers. These healthcare workers perform various duties in different health care settings. These include but are not limited to, physicians, nurses, therapists, dietitians, therapists, counselors, psychiatrists, audiology and imaging specialists, physical therapists, and home health care workers. Some people work in more than one of these categories. Nurses work under the supervision of physicians, which may include administering prescriptions, examining a patient's health status, ordering laboratory tests, and conducting lab tests.
A healthcare worker is someone who provides healthcare services. A healthcare provider is someone who provides healthcare services to an individual, family, or group of people. As defined above, the healthcare worker is a healthcare worker who works under the supervision of a physician, who is trained to provide healthcare services. To find out more about becoming a healthcare provider, contact your local hospital or healthcare facility.