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[ Browse by Service Category : Occupations : Sub-Topics of Health Care Occupations (43) ]

Alternative Medicine Practitioners

Individuals who offer health care and treatment procedures that fall outside the mainstream of conventional medical practice.

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Individuals who diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body's muscular, nervous and skeletal systems, especially the spine. When difficulties can be traced to the involvement of musculoskeletal structures, chiropractors manually adjust the spinal column. Some chiropractors use water, light, massage, ultrasound, electric and heat therapy; and may apply supports such as straps, tapes and braces.

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Dentists/Dental Support Personnel

Individuals who specialize in the care of the teeth and associated structures in the oral cavity and provide for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the teeth and gums either as licensed professionals or as support staff.

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Individuals who plan food and nutrition programs and supervise the preparation and serving of meals. They help to prevent and treat illnesses by promoting healthy eating habits and recommending dietary modifications such as the use of less salt for those with high blood pressure or the reduction of fat and sugar intake for those who are overweight. Dietitians manage food service systems for institutions such as hospitals and schools; provide dietetic and nutritional services for individuals served by public health clinics, home health agencies, health maintenance organizations or their own private practice; promote sound eating habits through education; and conduct research.

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Eye Care Personnel

Individuals who diagnose, manage and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system.

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Medical Support Personnel

Individuals who perform various duties under the direction of a physician or nursing staff in the examination and treatment of patients. Included are home health aides, medical assistants and physician assistants who work directly with physicians, nurses and surgeons; EMTs who provide emergency medical assistance at the scene of an accident or other incident; medical laboratory technicians; and individuals such as diagnostic medical sonographers and nuclear medicine technicians who administer specialized diagnostic tests.

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Nurses/Nursing Support Personnel

Individuals who assist medical doctors with their work, deal with emergencies in their absence and provide nursing care for people who are sick or injured, have physical or mental disabilities or others in need of such care. They work to promote health, prevent disease and help patients cope with illness; and serve as advocates and health educators for patients, families and communities. Included are registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses and nursing assistants.

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Individuals who dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. They may also provide advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, conduct health and wellness screenings, provide flu shots and other immunizations, and oversee the medications given to patients. Retail pharmacists (also known as community pharmacists) work in retail stores such as chain drug stores or independently owned pharmacies. They dispense medications to the public and answer any questions about prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, or health concerns. Clinical pharmacists work in hospitals, clinics and other health care settings and are involved in direct patient care. They may go on rounds in a hospital with a physician or health care team, recommend medications to give to patients and oversee the dosage and timing of the delivery of those medications. They may also conduct some medical tests and offer advice to patients, e.g., pharmacists working in a diabetes clinic may counsel patients on how and when to take medications, suggest healthy food choices, and monitor patients' blood sugar. Consultant pharmacists provide advice about the medication regimens of patients, primarily those in institutional settings such as nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and other long term care environments. They may also give advice directly to patients, e.g., helping seniors manage their prescriptions. Compounding pharmacists make custom drugs prescribed by doctors for specific patients with needs that can't be met by commercially available drugs.

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Individuals who diagnose illnesses and prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease. Physicians examine patients; obtain medical histories; order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests; and counsel patients on diet, hygiene and preventive health care. Surgeons are physicians who specialize in the treatment of injury, disease and deformity through operations. Using a variety of instruments, and with patients under general or local anesthesia, a surgeon corrects physical deformities, repairs bone and tissue after injuries or performs preventive surgeries on patients with debilitating diseases or disorders. Physicians work in one or more specialties including anesthesiology, family and community medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, allergy, cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, radiology and surgery.

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Individuals who diagnose and treat disorders, diseases and injuries of the foot and lower leg to keep this part of the body working properly. They treat corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, heel spurs and arch problems; ankle and foot injuries, deformities and infections; and foot complaints associated with diseases such as diabetes. They may prescribe drugs, order physical therapy, set fractures and perform surgery. They also fit corrective inserts called orthotics, design plaster casts and strappings to correct deformities and design custom-made shoes.

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Rehabilitation Personnel

Individuals who provide treatment services for people with disabilities, disorders and injuries to relieve pain, develop or restore function, prevent muscular deconditioning and maintain optimum performance.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.

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