Health care team
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Health Care Team. A health care team is all of the people who provide care and services to patients. Every employee at a health care facility is a member of a health care team. . Health Services Pathways.

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Health Care Team

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Health care team

Health Care Team

A health care team is all of the people who provide care and services to patients. Every employee at a health care facility is a member of a health care team.


Health services pathways

Health Services Pathways

There are many careers in health care. Each career is categorized into one of the following pathways, or areas:

  • Diagnostic Services

  • Therapeutic Services

  • Information Services

  • Support Services


Diagnostic services

Diagnostic Services

  • Careers in diagnostic services involve evaluating the health status of patients at a single point in time. Careers in diagnostic services include phlebotomists, electrocardiograph technicians, and medical laboratory technologists.


Therapeutic services

Therapeutic Services

  • Careers in therapeutic services involve improving the health status of patients over time. Careers in therapeutic services include medical assistants, nursing, and physicians.


Information services

Information Services

  • Careers in information services involve documenting patient care. Careers in information services include medical transcriptionists, medical records technicians, and medical librarians.


Support services

Support Services

  • Careers in support services involve creating an environment in which to provide patient care. Careers in support services include central supply workers, food services, and housekeeping.


Team member roles

Team Member Roles

  • The roles of health care workers within a single pathway vary widely. For instance, in therapeutic services, a registered nurse has more advanced education and different responsibilities than a nursing assistant.


Medical team members

Medical Team Members

  • Medical careers focus on diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases and disorders. There are various members of health care teams who may perform medical services for patients.


Medical team members1

Medical Team Members

  • Physicians diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases and disorders.

  • Physician assistants and nurse practitioners do many of the tasks that physicians do, including prescribing medications. They refer patients with more complicated cases to physicians. Physician assistants work under physicians. However, nurse practitioners do not need to work under physicians, so they may be patients' primary health care providers.

  • Medical assistants work under physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. They perform clinical tasks.


Nursing team members

Nursing Team Members

  • Nursing careers usually make up the largest group of employees at a health care facility. These employees provide personal care to patients. The care includes all areas of a patient's well-being, including the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health.


Nursing team members1

Nursing Team Members

  • Registered nurses (RNs) work under physicians. They are responsible for all of the care a patient receives and perform a variety of technical procedures.

  • Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) work under RNs or physicians. They perform nursing procedures that require specialized training, but state and facility regulations may limit the types of procedures that LPNs and LVNs can do.

  • Nurse assistants work under LPNs/LVNs or RNs. They provide daily care to patients, such as bathing, feeding, and assisting with ambulation


Diagnostic team members

Diagnostic Team Members

  • Diagnostic careers involve evaluating the health status of patients at a single point in time. There are a variety of diagnostic careers, including:


Diagnostic team members1

Diagnostic Team Members

  • Medical laboratory technologists (MTs), who work under physicians called pathologists. They perform complex tests on specimens from a patient.

  • Medical laboratory technicians (MLTs), who work under medical laboratory technologists or pathologists. They perform routine tests that do not require advanced training.

  • Medical laboratory assistants, who work under medical laboratory technicians, technologists, or pathologists. They perform basic tests, prepare specimens for testing, and maintain equipment.

  • Phlebotomists collect blood from patients and prepare it for testing.

  • Electrocardiograph technicians operate electrocardiogram (ECG) machines that record electrical impulses from the heart.

  • Radiologic technologists work under physicians called radiologists. They take X-rays, operate ultrasound equipment and magnetic resonance imaging devices.


Therapeutic team members

Therapeutic Team Members

Therapeutic careers involve improving the health status of patients over time.

  • Audiologists diagnose and treat patients with hearing and balance problems.

  • Speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat patients with speech, language, and swallowing problems.

  • Physical therapists improve the mobility of patients following injuries and illnesses. Physical therapy assistants work under physical therapists. They help carry out treatments.

  • Occupational therapists help patients with physical, mental, and emotional problems to correct or adjust to their problems. They use activities to assist patients in daily living and job skills. Occupational therapy assistants work under occupational therapists. They help carry out treatments.


Therapeutic team members continued

Therapeutic Team Members (continued)

  • Recreational therapists develop leisure activities for patients in health care facilities. Recreational therapy assistants work under recreational therapists. They help with and may arrange activities.

  • Respiratory therapists work under physicians. They treat patients with breathing problems and test respiratory function. Respiratory therapy technicians work under respiratory therapists. They perform basic treatments and tests.

  • Pharmacists dispense prescribed medications, check for interactions with other medications being taken, and provide patient education. Pharmacy technicians work under pharmacists. They help prepare medications, maintain records, and order supplies.


Dietary team members

Dietary Team Members

Dietary careers involve encouraging the proper nutrition of patients.

  • Registered dieticians (RDs) assess patients' nutritional needs. They plan menus and teach patients about good nutrition and therapeutic diets.

  • Dietetic technicians (DTs) work under registered dieticians. They help plan menus and educate patients.

  • Dietetic assistants work under dietitians. They help prepare food, assist patients in selecting foods, and keep the service area clean.


Health information team members

Health Information Team Members

  • Health information careers involve admitting patients, maintaining medical records, and handling billing. Workers in these careers must be able to use computers and a variety of software.


Health information team members1

Health Information Team Members

  • Health information careers involve admitting patients, maintaining medical records, and handling billing. Workers in these careers must be able to use computers and a variety of software.


Health information team members2

Health Information Team Members

  • Medical record administrators (RAs) manage and organize the medical record system of the facility. They also compile reports for local, state, and federal agencies.

  • Medical records technicians work under administrators. They organize and gather patient information.

  • Medical assistants often specialize in health information and work under physicians and administrative managers to perform clerical and accounting duties.

  • Medical transcriptionists type an electronic copy of information that has been dictated on an audiotape.


Emergency medical service team members

Emergency Medical Service Team Members

  • Emergency medical service (EMS) provides expert care for patients in a critical medical situation. The service is typically available by dialing 911.

  • Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide immediate care to victims of critical injuries and illnesses and transport victims to hospitals. There are several levels of EMTs, which are based on the amount of training and the type of certification.


Social and mental health team members

Social and Mental Health Team Members

  • The goal of social and mental health team members is to help patients with mental, emotional, or developmental problems function at their full potential.


Social and mental health team members1

Social and Mental Health Team Members

  • Social workers help patients who are having problems coping with a life situation. They counsel patients and refer patients to support services.

  • Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses.

  • Psychologists help patients deal with life situations. They have a background in psychology and usually specialize in a specific area, such as child psychology.

  • Psychiatric technicians work under psychiatrists or psychologists. They help patients carry out treatments and provide emotional support.


Support services team members

Support Services Team Members

Support services include careers that involve creating an ideal environment in which to provide patient care.

  • Health care administrators are responsible for managing health care facilities. They supervise department heads, set guidelines, and develop the financial plan of the facility.

  • Housekeeping performs basic sanitation duties. They may also be responsible for bed-making.

  • Central supply workers are responsible for ordering and maintaining facility supplies. They sterilize medical instruments and make sure that equipment in the facility is operating correctly.


Mortuary team members

Mortuary Team Members

Mortuary careers involve the preparation and presentation of a deceased patient.

  • Funeral directors discuss the family's wishes for the body, ceremony, and burial or cremation. They also file legal papers related to the death.

  • Embalmers are responsible for preparing the body for burial. Additionally, they must maintain lists of clothing and valuables.

  • Mortuary assistants work under the funeral director or embalmer. They assist with preparing the body, arranging ceremonies, and filing records.


Interdependence of team members

Interdependence of Team Members

  • All members of the health care team are dependent on each other. This means that if one worker does not fulfill the required duties, the entire team is hindered. Patients do not receive the quality care that they deserve when the team does not function properly. This connection among all areas and levels of workers is called interdependence.


Lines of authority

Lines of Authority

  • Each health care worker is an important member of the health care team. Within the health care team, though, there are lines of authority. Lines of authority determine workers' positions within the team's structure. Members of the health care team must understand their positions. Lines of authority also establish levels of supervision. Members of the health care team must report to their immediate supervisor. This includes when getting information on job tasks and when there are problems.


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