A Health care practitioner is the one who is given the license or authority by the state to provide health care services. Anyone starting from a doctor of medicine, a dentist, pediatrician and chiropractor to a nurse practitioner, clinical psychologist and even a clinical social worker can be defined as a health care practitioner. In case a health maintenance provider does anything to violate the regulations and limitations determined by the state law, the health care entity has the right to review and judge their actions, thereby seizing their medical license if required. In such cases the health care entity is bound to provide the Board of Medical Examiners with the name of the concerned health maintenance provider and the details of their action for taking accurate review action.
There are various types of health care providers. Some of them are:
Primary Care Providers (PCP): The first person you visit for a health check-up serves as your primary care provider. On the basis of your health maintenance plan and the type of health problem you are having, you have to decide who can be the best PCP for you.
- You can appoint a general practitioner as your PCP. A general practitioner involves doctors of medicine or osteopathy specialized in internal medicine and family practice.
- Obstetrician and Gynecologists, specializing in women’s health and prenatal care, can also be appointed as your PCP.
- Nurse practitioners with graduate degrees can serve as primary care providers in the field of family medicine, pediatrics, adult care, women’s health, etc. They are authorized to provide services for regular checkups and general concerns.
- Physician assistants are licensed to provide a various services in association with a general practitioner.
Nursing Care: There are various categories in the nursing division.
- Registered Nurse (RN): RN is licensed by the state to provide health maintenance services. They have to pass a state board examination and obtain a graduate degree from a nursing program.
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPN is a trained nurse, who is authorized by the state to provide health maintenance.
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN): APRNs obtain special degrees and advanced training, which is beyond and above the normal nursing care trainings. APRNs include clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists and licensed nurse midwives.
Licensed Pharmacists: Licensed pharmacists hold a graduate degree from pharmaceutical colleges. They provide health maintenance by preparing prescription drugs that have been prescribed to you by your primary or specialty care provider. Pharmacists also provide adequate information to patients regarding medicines, and explain to them the dosages and side effects of medicines after discussing with the doctor.
Specialty Care Providers: Health care practitioners providing health services in various specialized fields are referred to as specialty care providers, like:
- Cardiology for heart problems.
- Dermatology for skin problems.
- Allergy and asthma.
- Gastroenterology for digestive disorders.
- Hematology for blood disorders.
- Immunology for problems with the immune system.
- Orthopedics for bone and tissue problems.
- Nephrology for kidney disorders.
- Psychiatry for mental and emotional problems.