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An Introduction to 31 Healthcare Professionals You'll Find Working in a Hospital

Oct 31, 2016 | Harrison College

An Introduction to 31 Healthcare Professionals You'll Find Working in a Hospital

Hospitals are the hub of our health care system. It’s where you seek care when you’re sick. It’s where you overcome injury and illness. Hospitals lie at the heart of health care, filled with countless professionals working together to achieve a collective goal: providing the best care for patients.

Many who are interested in the healthcare industry find themselves working in hospitals—after all, they employ a huge array of healthcare professionals. It takes a multifaceted, interdisciplinary team of professionals to tend to the public’s every health need.

But who are all of these individuals working tirelessly with patients and behind the scenes? You may be surprised at the multitude of specialists it takes to keep everything running smoothly. Peruse the list below to learn about the many dedicated healthcare professionals you’ll find working in a hospital.

Healthcare professionals who work in hospitals

1. Child life specialist

Child life specialists educate, prepare and support children and their families as they navigate the hospitalization process.

2. Clinical dietitian

Clinical dietitians assess patient health, develop nutrition programs and provide medical nutrition therapy.

3. Dietary aide

Dietary aides plan and prepare meals based on dietary restrictions under the supervision of a dietitian.

4. Fellow

A fellow is a fully credentialed physician who attends to patients in a ward. He or she has completed their internship and residency and has elected to pursue further training in their specialty of choice.

5. Health educator

Health educators work with patients and their families to teach them more about their diagnosis, treatment, insurance options and other resources.

6. Health information manager

Health information managers direct healthcare information service and implement electronic health information systems.

7. Health information technician

Health information technicians organize and manage health information data to ensure accuracy, accessibility and security.

8. Medical administrative assistant

Medical administrative assistants perform secretarial duties, such as scheduling appointments, billing patients and compiling medical charts.

9. Medical assistant

Medical assistants perform clinical duties, such as taking vitals and recording patient history, under the direction of a physician.

10. Medical coder

Medical coders review medical records and assign medical codes for reimbursement purposes.

11. Medical lab technician

Medical lab technicians test and analyze tissue samples of patients to aid physicians in determining diagnoses.

12. Monitor technician

Monitor technicians oversee heart rate monitors and watch for any irregularities in patients.

13. Occupational therapist

Occupational therapists work with patients to recover and improve the skills needed to perform everyday activities.

14. Orderly

Orderlies transport patients in wheelchairs or stretchers and stock medical supplies.

15. Patient advocate

Patient advocates help patients and their families understand complex information from medical personnel. They assist with explaining policies, obtaining services and making health care decisions.

16. Personal care assistant

Personal care assistants support nurses and doctors in caring for patients. They may check vitals, help patients with dressing and eating, or take notes on medical records.

17. Pharmacist

Pharmacists dispense prescription drugs prescribed by physicians and check for interaction and safe use.

18. Pharmacy technician

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists fill and dispense prescriptions to patients.

19. Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists draw blood from patients for tests, transfusions or blood donations.

20. Physical therapist

Physical therapists help patients with chronic conditions, illnesses or injuries to improve function and movements.

21. Physician

A physician is a medical doctor who examines patients, diagnoses diseases and treats patients. They may work in a specialty, such as cardiology, neurology or oncology.

22. Physician assistant

Physician assistants examine, diagnose and treat patients with teams of physicians and surgeons.

23. Psychologist

Psychologists conduct mental evaluations and assessments to diagnose conditions or better understand neuropsychological functioning.

24. Radiologic technologist

Radiologic technologists conduct diagnostic imaging examinations on patients, such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) and mammograms.

25. Registered nurse (RN)

Registered nurses assess patient health and provide care. Other nurses include licensed practical nurses (LPN) and nursing assistants (NA).

26. Resident

Residents are physicians who attend to patients in a ward. They have completed their internships, passed third-level exams and are receiving additional training for a specialty.

27. Social worker

Social workers in hospitals support patients in their diagnosis and guide patients and their families through difficult decisions.

28. Speech pathologist

Speech pathologists assess, diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders in patients.

29. Surgeon

Surgeons are physicians who operate on patients to treat diseases, injuries or deformities.

30. Surgical technologist

Surgical technologists prepare operating rooms and assist surgical teams throughout surgeries.

31. Transporter

Transporters coordinate with nurses and doctors to move patients throughout the hospital on stretchers, beds or wheelchairs as they move to different departments or get released.

Now you know …

We’re just scratching the surface of all the healthcare professionals you can find working in a hospital. This list should provide you with an introduction to who does what and how multitudes of healthcare professionals work together to care for the masses. If nothing else, you now have a better understanding of the many dedicated roles it takes to run a facility and serve the public.

If you feel called to join the ranks of these individuals working in a hospital, check out our School of Health Sciences page to learn more. There truly is something for everyone in the world of healthcare!

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