Module 3: Healthcare Team
Who is on the healthcare team?
Healthcare is a team effort. Each healthcare provider is like a member of the team with a special role. Some team members are doctors or technicians who help diagnose disease. Others are experts who treat disease or care for patients' physical and emotional needs.
In this part of the tutorial you will learn about different types of healthcare providers, their jobs and role on the healthcare team. You will also learn who the team members are for patients with different chronic diseases. Healthcare team members we will look at include:
- Physician Assistants
- Technologists and technicians
- Therapists and rehabilitation specialists
- Emotional, social and spiritual support providers
- Administrative and support staff
- Community health workers and patient navigators
Healthcare Team for a Visit with a Primary Care Provider (PCP)
When patients visit their primary care provider (PCP), the visit involves many more people than just the doctor. Here's an example of healthcare professionals involved in a simple PCP visit:
- Members of the administrative staff schedule the appointment, find the medical record, make a reminder call, greet the patient and verify insurance information.
- A nurse or medical assistant record the patient's weight and vital signs, escort the patient to an exam room and record the reason for the visit.
- The PCP may be a doctor, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner who examines and talks with the patient to develop a diagnosis and plan of care.
- If a lab or radiology test is ordered, a technician performs the test. Administrative staff may help ship out the sample (blood, skin, saliva), a lab will perform the analysis and write up the test results. The technician, nurse, or doctor will discuss the results with the patient. If treatment, such as medication is prescribed, a pharmacist fills the prescription.
- Medical billing experts then bill the patient's insurance for the office visit and either the test or the medication.