Health Care Provider Staff: Types & Roles

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  • 0:03 Healthcare Providers
  • 0:24 Primary Care Providers
  • 1:50 Other Healthcare Roles
  • 3:30 Communication Is Key
  • 4:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Justine Fritzel

Justine has been a Registered Nurse for 10 years and has a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree.

In this lesson, we'll review a few of the different types of healthcare providers. We'll briefly discuss what their roles are and what communication skills are needed in providing care and support to patients and families.

Healthcare Providers

The healthcare industry is made up of many different types of healthcare providers, individuals who provide medical care and other treatment to patients. While most people are familiar with doctors and nurses, there are many other healthcare providers that assist in caring for patients and families. This lesson is going to review some of the different types of healthcare providers.

Primary Care Providers

Most people are familiar with the term physician. They're oftentimes referred to as doctors. Physicians collect health history and perform thorough assessments in order to make a diagnosis. If a patient is hospitalized, the physician provides care to the patient during that time. The physician collaborates with other healthcare providers, such as other specialists and therapists, to ensure the patient has all of their needs met. They provide education to the patient and family and help the patient to navigate through the complex healthcare setting to get their medical needs met. Physicians are responsible for overseeing and managing the patient's entire healthcare needs. Physicians aren't the only choice for a healthcare provider, though.

Nurse practitioners are another option that can provide primary care to a patient. A nurse practitioner uses nursing and medical perspectives to manage patients' healthcare needs. They are able to diagnose and treat medical conditions as well as prescribe medications or treatments.

A physician assistant is another healthcare provider that may help to manage your primary care needs. Physician assistants aren't independent primary care providers as they work under the supervision of a licensed doctor. However, they are able to collect healthcare history, diagnose, and prescribe tests and medications. These are a few examples of primary care options in the healthcare field, but there are so many more healthcare roles that contribute to providing healthcare to those in need. Let's take a look at some of those.

Other Healthcare Roles

Nursing Assistants

If you walk into any healthcare facility, it is very likely you will see nursing assistants hard at work. Nursing assistants, often referred to as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), go through training and have to take a state test in order to obtain their license to be certified. CNAs work in care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes, but they also provide care in home settings, as well as various other roles. They assist patients with personal care needs such as bathing, toileting, eating, transferring, and positioning. CNAs also take vital signs and do other work as delegated by the nurse. CNAs work closely with the nurse, and they report any issues or changes to the nurse to address.

Laboratory Technician

Have you ever had blood drawn and wondered how things work behind the scenes in the lab? When a healthcare provider orders labs, it's the laboratory technician who runs tests on the sample using microscopes, computers, and other advanced technology to evaluate the sample and determine any abnormalities. They communicate the results to the healthcare provider that ordered the labs, and the healthcare provider will determine any interventions needed based on the results.

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