Illness, injury, and disease have been some of the most common threats to human life since time immemorial, which is why we have healthcare. This system exists to help care for those who need it. However, many people lack a proper understanding of how healthcare, as a system, works, which is what this article aims to address. This guide is intended to give a basic overview of the healthcare system and the people who comprise it.
What is Healthcare?
Put simply, healthcare is the system put in place to care for and treat any person suffering from injury or illness in a given society. This is done through the efforts of countless medical and administrative personnel and is one of the most complex systems of any large society. From mild to extreme cases, healthcare exists to support and care for you or anyone else when they become injured or unwell.
Why is Healthcare Important?
There are many reasons that healthcare is important but likely the most compelling is that through the help of medical treatment, many people who would have otherwise died are alive and well today. This is, and always will be, true wherever you go. The fundamental truth that others will die without the effort of trained healthcare professionals creates a sense of social responsibility. Is it not the duty of those who can save lives, to save lives? This is why healthcare systems are important. They exist to save the lives of those who could not survive without their intervention.
Healthcare Professionals: Doctors
Doctors are likely who you most strongly associate with healthcare, and for good reason. These highly trained individuals are responsible for treating the deadliest of diseases and conditions. They are the faces of medicine and without their expert knowledge and care, many lives would surely be lost. This incredible expertise comes from years upon years of schooling and training, which is followed by a constant and concerted effort to stay on top of any advancements made in medicine. Doctors have to constantly work to provide the best possible care to their patients.
On top of this, most doctors specialize in one field or another because the human body is so incredibly complicated that attempting to learn everything there is to know about it would just dilute your knowledge, therefore making you less effective in all fields than several specialists could be.
Healthcare Professionals: Nurses
Nurses are some of the most important medical professionals in the field and are usually responsible for the majority of care that a patient receives. This is, quite simply, due to the fact that there are more nurses than there are doctors. These incredibly hard-working professionals will guide their patients through their entire medical experience, from admission to discharge, and are more often than not the individuals who will provide the lion’s share of the care.
There are a wide range of nurse specialties, including, but not limited to, cardiac nurses, registered nurses, certified registered nurse anesthetists, geriatric nurses, and ER nurses. These specialties are just the tip of the iceberg and go to show just how varied and important the roles of nurses are within the field of healthcare.
Regardless of their specialty, most nurses will follow the same set of basic steps in order to effectively evaluate and treat their patients. This process is as follows: assessment, diagnosis, outcomes/planning, implementation, and evaluation. Through the careful application of this process, nurses are able to effectively and swiftly evaluate a patient’s condition, diagnose their needs, and begin a treatment plan.
Healthcare Professionals: Administrative Staff
Not everyone working in medical facilities are doctors and nurses. In fact, a large proportion of the healthcare system is made up of administrative staff, from receptionists to medical secretaries. These individuals ensure that medical facilities run smoothly, and they act as the “face” of most patients’ visit to the doctors as the receptionist is the first person a patient will see.
These roles are all about the patient experience and the streamlining of the processes that keep any medical facility running. Without a dedicated and effective administrative staff, no medical facility could ever hope to operate at all, let alone effectively. The responsibilities of these staff range from patient sign in and appointment organization to the effective organization of paperwork within the medical facility.
How to Work in Healthcare
Getting into the field of healthcare is almost always going to be a long and complex process that will require you to go through a large amount of tutelage and schooling. This is, without a doubt, a positive point because it means the people in charge of providing care to the unwell are highly trained. However, it also means there are a series of obstacles in the way of anyone who wishes to join the fray when it comes to healthcare.
If you want to care for patients, then there is a very good chance that you are looking to train to become a nurse. This is because, unless you are incredibly dedicated and intelligent, the process of becoming a doctor is simply too extreme for many, which is why the option of nursing is so important. Comparatively, the process of becoming a nurse is simple and the availability of options such as an accelerated nursing program online makes it even more simple. These courses allow you to go through the education process required to become a nurse in a relatively swift and convenient manner, meaning you can get to helping people that much faster.
Even if you would rather work as a member of the administrative staff, there are many aspects of working in a healthcare environment that you would have to learn before you could become a truly effective member of any healthcare team.
Overall, breaking into a career in healthcare requires dedication to that self-same social responsibility that necessitates the existence of healthcare in the first place. The need to help others because you are able. If that is a need that you possess, then you should definitely consider working to become a member of a healthcare team, in whatever way appeals to you.