Health professionals are critical players for healthcare quality and access globally. A health professional is trained personnel working in healthcare or a health-related field.
There are many types of healthcare professionals. Each of them focuses on a specific sector in the healthcare industry. Ever since the pandemic struck, the healthcare sector of society has been working non-stop to give service to others.
But this industry is so big that most people don’t really understand who these professionals are. We’ll discuss who these people really are and what specific roles and responsibilities they play in society and in our lives.
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There are about 59 million healthcare workers worldwide. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), these health professionals are classified by their education, training, and licensing to perform medical services. They’re trained to provide essential health services to prevent diseases, promote health, and care for individuals, families, and communities based on the primary health care approach.
These medical professionals care for patients using their skills and practice based on research and existing knowledge. They perform examinations, make diagnoses, and treat injuries and illnesses.
Generally, healthcare workers have the following qualities:
People in this industry are exposed to different health and safety hazards when working. These hazards include exposure to diseases like tuberculosis and HIV or chemicals like ethylene dioxide. They’re also constantly exposed to radiation and noise, stress, and physical exhaustion.
Healthcare professionals may work under these industry segments:
Individuals qualified by education, training, and licensure or regulation are the only people who can give healthcare professional services in different medical and health areas. They can give service within their scope of practice.
Healthcare professionals perform critical roles in everyone’s lives by:
Technological advancements, shifts in demographics, and even political changes affect the healthcare system. This will continue and can impact the future of the industry. Because of this, the importance of healthcare workers is very evident.
Here are some of the reasons why we need them:
The evolution of politics greatly affects laws and policies regarding healthcare systems. This means that when influenced by politics, changes to healthcare will be enforced. To implement and accommodate these changes, the industry needs capable and well-versed professionals.
Some healthcare professionals may even get involved in healthcare policy-related careers and become analysts, researchers, or managers.
According to Statista, in 2019, there were approximately 20 million UK citizens who were born between 1946 and 1964. This generation is called the “Baby Boomers.” The oldest members reached retirement as early as 2012. Most baby boomers will retire by 2030. They’ll mostly rely on healthcare resources like Medicare or Medicaid.
This foreseen increase in patients needs an increase in healthcare professionals to maintain efficient healthcare.
Healthcare technology influences the industry with advancements in data collection, research, and treatment options. More equipment is being invented, like home diagnostics and monitoring devices.
With all these changes, there’s a greater need for healthcare informatics professionals that can create, analyze, and handle these new technologies.
According to the report of Evaluate Pharma in July 2021, worldwide prescription sales in the industry will continue to move upward with a peak forecast of US$1 trillion by 2026. This leads to a growing demand for professionals in the field.
These health professionals belong to many healthcare subcategories. Each focuses on one type of care service to aid society.
A primary care provider (PCP) is the professional you go to for checkups and health problems. They’re physicians with patients who seek help in determining the cause of their problems. PCPs can be one of these people:
There are various types of professionals under this category:
They’re professionals who graduated from pharmaceutical universities. They’re licensed pharmacists that had training from a college of pharmacy that allows them to provide medicine to patients.
Pharmacists prepare and process drug prescriptions written by primary and speciality care providers. They consult on dosage, interactions, and side effects of the medicines.
These are doctors with specializations in one field of medicine after extensive study. A primary care provider can refer you to care professionals with specialities in:
These are specialists with a different area of expertise than doctors. Therapists are professionals who help patients recover from illness and injuries by working on the physical aspects of the body like speech, movement, and coordination.
Becoming a healthcare professional isn’t easy, and it takes a long time. Here’s a checklist on how you can become one:
Healthcare professionals make up a large portion of our population and play an integral role in our lives. They provide health, medicine, and care services to people with injuries, illnesses, and other impairments. There are many of them, and each specializes in a certain area of expertise. With an ever-changing society, these healthcare professionals are more important now than ever.
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