A health care practitioner is one having the authority or license to provide curative or preventive health care services to individuals or communities in an organized and methodical way in the field of medicine, obstetrics, pharmacy, nursing, pediatrics, clinical psychology or other associated sectors. The quality of service provided by health care practitioners is strictly monitored by the state authorities on the basis of pre-fixed rules and regulations. The state has the right to judge the actions of the health care providers, and seize their license in case they are found to violate any of the rules. In such circumstances, it is the responsibility of the state to provide the Board of Medical Examiners the name and the action details of the concerned health care provider for the implementation of necessary actions.
Let us see the various types of health care providers available:
Primary Care Providers (PCP): The person you make your first visit to for a general health check-up is defined as your primary care provider. You can decide on the best PCP for you on the basis of your health problems and the health care plan you have. Let us discuss some of the possible options:
In most cases, a general physician can be the best PCP, who can look into your health problems and refer you to the most appropriate specialist. A general physician refers to a doctor of medicine or osteopathy with a specialization in internal medicine and family practice.
You can also choose an Obstetrician and Gynecologist has a specialization in women’s health and prenatal care as your PCP.
For routine checkups and general health issues, you can appoint nurse practitioners with graduate degrees as your PCP. They are authorized to provide primary care in the field of pediatrics, family medicine, women’s health, adult care etc.
Nursing Care: The nursing sector can be divided in various categories.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPNs refer to trained nurses having the license to provide health protection services to individuals, families or communities.
Registered Nurse (RN): RNs are required to get through a state board examination and attain a graduate degree from a nursing program in order to get the license for providing health protection services.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN): APRNs are superior to general nurses owing to their advanced trainings and special degrees. APRNs include certified registered nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and licensed nurse midwives.
Mental Health Practitioners: A mental health practitioner refers to a health protection provider who is known to offer preventive or curative services in order to treat mental conditions in individuals. Mental health practitioners include clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists etc.
Pharmacists: Having a graduate degree from pharmaceutical colleges, licensed pharmacists provide services in the field of health protection by preparing drugs that are prescribed by primary or specialty care providers.
Specialty Care Providers: Specialty care providers are health care practitioners, who provide health protection services in various specialized fields such as Cardiology, Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Orthopedics, Nephrology, Allergy and Asthma and many more.