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What are the Different Types of Health Care Professionals?

By J.Gunsch
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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For all the different areas of medical science, there are even more types of health care professionals. In the field of cardiology for example, there are specialized doctors, nurses, technicians and surgeons. Health care workers collectively make up a team that aims to improve and maintain human health. Heath care professionals are people who have completed a specific educational curriculum, who are licensed in their area of expertise and whose occupation concerns human heath. The most common heath care professionals include doctors, nurses, physical therapists, dentists, chiropractors and mental health professionals.

Doctors are probably the type of health care professionals with the biggest variation in their specializations. There are physicians who practice general medicine, cardiologists, podiatrists, pediatricians, oncologists and many more. Dentists, including orthodontists and pediatric dentists, as well as chiropractors, fall under this profession. Doctors are concerned with diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases and disorders of every kind, which requires almost as many disciplines as there are diseases.

Similar to doctors, nurses are licensed medical professionals who undergo intensive training. Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Certified Nurses' Aides (CNA) are all required by law to be licensed, but they differ in the extent of services that their licenses allow them to perform. Nurses specialize in different areas of health care, such as maternity, surgery and trauma.

Mental health care professionals also represent a large group of different professions. A mental health professional can be a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or behavioral therapist. Again, these heath care professionals are all required by law to be licensed, but their licenses vary depending on the level of their education and training.

When choosing a medical professional, it is extremely important to make sure that the person is licensed as required by law. After all, anyone can say they are a doctor, nurse or dentist. Secondly, make sure their license is current and has not been revoked for any reason. You can usually find this information by doing an Internet search. Information about professionals who have received disciplinary action or have had their licenses revoked is available to the public. Friends and family are great resources for recommendations when trying to find qualified health care professionals.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon159927 — On Mar 14, 2011

can you actually tell us the different types of health care nurses?

By GreenWeaver — On Feb 25, 2011

BrickBack - There are a lot of great health care careers that have a high demand level. Ultrasound technicians are desperately needed and they require a two to four year training program. They also have an average salary of about $63,000 a year.

Dental hygienist also earn good salaries and only require about two years of training. Most earn an average salary of $60,000. There are a lot of opportunities in the health care field despite the problems with the health care bill.

By BrickBack — On Feb 24, 2011

Crispety - I agree. I just want to say that nursing programs are increasing throughout the country.

There is also a shortage of nurses which means that many hospitals will offer incentives to attract nurses to their program.

I know that Baptist Hospital in Miami offers clinical internships for nursing students and even provides an agreement that offers tuition reimbursements if they agree to work for them upon graduation.

This is a great hospital that was ranked one of the best employers for working women because they offer such outstanding benefits.

I know health care jobs will be in even more demand in the future because not as many people might be looking to enter the field because of the turmoil with the Obamacare bill.

By Crispety — On Feb 21, 2011

Sneakers41 - I know that a lot of medical professionals would not want to work in a socialized medical program.

They feel that the care would deteriorate because there would be so many more patients seeking care and the government will have to ration services in order to be able to contain the costs of health care.

In addition, people would have long waits to receive care and some treatments may be denied due to costs.

The people that seek health careers want to treat and cure patients. They want to provide the best care possible but with this health care bill their hands will be tied.

It is amazing to think that in a county that is known for its excellent medical care would have to deny patients lifesaving treatment because it is too expensive.

At least without Obamacare you would have access to these drugs but now you will not which is so sad. The mortality rate in the United States would skyrocket under this plan because we not be able to take advantage of the very advances in medicine that we have all become accustomed to.

For example, in Great Britain a country that has socialized medicine, the survival rate for a man diagnosed with prostate cancer is 53%, while in the United States the survival rate is 96%. This bill will destroy the medical profession and our entire health care system as we know it.

By sneakers41 — On Feb 19, 2011

I feel that medical careers will not be as sought after as a result of health care reform. Many doctors currently practicing will require cash payments rather than accept any government reimbursement.

This could affect those patients dependent on Medicare because they will have less options than before.

If Obamacare does not get repealed many doctors receiving Medicare reimbursements will have to see about 35 patients a day in order to make a decent living because their Medicare reimbursements will be cut by 25%.

This will definitely cause the doctors to make more mistakes. In addition, in a recent survey suggested that about 40% of doctors would quit the profession if this law is not repealed.

This will cause an increase in nursing programs as more nurse practitioners would take the place of what doctors used to do.

By anon93688 — On Jul 05, 2010

Granted this is a quick skim of health care professionals, however, two of the largest and most quickly growing fields have been left out. Known as physicians extenders, advanced nurse practitioners and physicians assistants have become the a mainstay in the provision of health care. Both fields require a minimum of a master's degree. In the area of mental health, nurse practitioners can both prescribe medication and offer therapy.

Regarding referrals to qualified health professionals, family and friends can direct you to professionals with wonderful bedside manner. Be aware, however, bedside manner does not always translate to the best training, knowledge, and skill.

Asking the professionals you already know is one of the best resources for health care referrals. If you are moving, ask for recommendations from your present health care providers. If you are new to the area and find yourself in the emergency room, ask the nurses there, discreetly, which physician their family uses.

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