Promoting Better Patient Care
In the provision of patient care, different health professionals interact in healthcare facilities. Allied Health professionals describe people trained to provide services either individually or in a team with other professional in a bid to achieve quality healthcare. The allied health professions are different from professions in nursing, medicine, dentistry or pharmacy. These Allied Health professionals interact with nurses, physicians, and dentists in their daily activities. Physiotherapists and dietitians interact with physicians and other specialties such as cardiologists, neurosurgeons, and orthopedics. Physiotherapists and dietitians get referrals from the above-mentioned specialties in hospitals and long-term facilities. They interact with the nurses as they carry out their duties in the hospitals, long-term facilities and outpatient clinics. Some of the programs designed by the physiotherapists and dietitians are administered by nurses.
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Specialties and Services Offered
Several allied health specialties are available in the Association of Schools for Allied Health Professions. The specialties focused on this discussion are physiotherapists and dietitians. Physiotherapists deal with patients with problems associated to the muscular-skeletal system, neurological system, and cardiothoracic system. Physiotherapists deal with varied chronic conditions such as; diabetes, stroke, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and osteoarthritis.
Accredited Practicing Dietitians are professionals in the line of food and nutrition. They provide advice related to nutritional management of several conditions, some of which are lifestyle. They include overweight, diabetes, cancer, obesity, coronary diseases, renal diseaes, food allergies, and gastric- intestinal diseases. Early dietitian interventions are important in reducing the possibility of development of chronic diseases. Dietitians’ services are as follows - Community and Public Health Nutrition services such as assessment of the menu, planning and monitoring of adherence to treatment diets. Consultation services are also provided to elderly centers, staff training, and child care and disability group homes.
Physiotherapists specifically offer special support to nurses since they provide particular attention towards chronic conditions. Nurses provide generalized patient care while the physiotherapists limit their attention to specific conditions, hence are better placed to address and design programs for their patients in long-term facilities and hospitals (Browne, 2010). Dietitians provide services related to food and nutrition. Dietitians sometimes intervene in situations that aim at reducing developing chronic conditions. Therefore, they reduce the medical cases dealt with nurses in hospital wards and outpatient clinics. Dietitians can deal with several conditions in a specialized manner and offer care that complement the nurses’ efforts. They handle conditions related to weight, digestive system and food allergies better since they provide specialized care.
Physiotherapists and dietitians provide comprehensive health care which is extraordinarily patient-centered; they are specialists in disciplines such as nutrition and exercise. They are a central part to health care. They support patients with problems that are chronic and long-term conditions and focus towards better health and wellbeing. They both have a tremendous positive impact on patient care which cannot be provided by other health professionals.
Physiotherapists and dietitians make a remarkable contribution to healthcare service delivery. Absence of these specialties in the healthcare system will have an enormous negative impact on patient care delivery level. Decreased focus on these professions in the healthcare delivery will not do justice to the healthcare sector, but rather multi-profession initiative in a team-based approach patient care. Lack of these professionals will make other healthcare providers step into these roles. The healthcare facility can still be in operation without these professionals, but the patients will not receive that specialized care that they require for better health and wellbeing. Healthcare providers who would provide these services are nurses, physicians and pharmacists may also offer some services related to health (Safran, 1998).
I would be willing to be cross trained on these specialties because it will enhance my knowledge and information about different conditions. Some healthcare setups may not have the allied healthcare professionals hence the need for cross training for availability in provision of patient care when the need arises that is in their absence. Physiotherapists, dietitians and other healthcare professionals have self-regulating professional bodies. These institutions have written policies for cases covered by these experts.
The above-mentioned specialties that are physiotherapists and dietitians collaborate and help health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists and dentists. They have an enormous positive impact on all the professions as they form a significant support framework aimed at efficient healthcare service delivery. They provide personalized patient care which cannot be delivered by other professionals. The Allied Health Professions should be encouraged and promoted for deterring healthcare service delivery.
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