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Health Care Disciplines

The health care industry has a vast variety of different disciplines, from physician to nurse, dietician to physiotherapist and many more. Each role depends on a number of variables: scopes of practice that are continually evolving, the practice setting (e.g. hospital vs community setting), and the diverse competencies of skills that each professional possesses.

Scopes of practice can vary quite drastically between professions, however there is often some overlap. For instance, physicians and nurses both evaluate symptoms and deliver treatment, however only physicians can diagnose a patient’s condition and prescribe medication or treatment to remedy the illness. Physiotherapists’ practice involves rehabilitative treatment for physical impairments.

Due to the extensive skills that health care workers require, healthcare education is necessary in most countries for a professional designation within the field – this usually involves getting a specific degree pertaining to the respective area of study. Programs in Health Sciences aim to train individuals from a broad range of disciplines. They aim to educate not only physicians, who are usually associated with the health profession, but also nurses, physiotherapists, healthcare administrators, who deal with optimizing the efficiency of health systems, and many more. In order to become a physician, one must go to medical school to obtain a medical degree. Nursing requires a diploma or degree in nursing science from a university or college. If one wanted to go into healthcare management, one can obtain a degree in this field from either a business school or from a school of public health. By obtaining the recommended education, and by extension a degree in a specific field, the healthcare job market can expect both extensive knowledge and professionalism. Thus, obtaining an education is absolutely necessary if one aspires to be a healthcare worker.

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Categories within Health Care Disciplines


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Midwifery refers to the healthcare profession of offering care to childbearing women during pregnancy.


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Physiotherapy is a movement science which aims to enhance or restore the function of multiple body systems.

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