Personal Characteristics

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Facility where patients are hospitalized a short time (few days to a few weeks)

Provide a wide range of diagnostic, medical, surgical, and emergency services
Diagnostic = pertaining to the determination of the nature of a disease or injury by examining (e.g. using x-rays and laboratory tests)


Provides care for specific illnesses, such as chronic diseases, tuberculosis, and psychiatric problems. Chronic = continuing over many years or a long time

  • Patients/clients are usually hospitalized in these facilities for a long time.

St. Jude’s Hospital for children is an example of a specialty hospital. It is known for its cancer treatments and treatments of burns.


These facilities generally care for elderly people needing nursing services and personal care.

They also care for physically ill or injured people who require and extended convalescence for recovery.

  • Examples of these include nursing homes and long- term care facilities.


  • Facilities where several physicians with different specialties combine their practices.

  • Specialties = fields of study or professional work, such as pediatrics, orthopedics, and obstetrics

  • Allows the patient to have immediate care for many different illnesses


Provide care that promotes wellness and diagnosis of illness.

Simple surgery, bone setting, counseling, and administrations of drugs also take place here.


  • People who have been disabled by sickness or injury can recover many of their original abilities and relearn activities of daily living by seeking these services.

  • Provide care for patients/clients who require physical therapy, hydrotherapy (treatments that use water therapy for disease or injury), and other therapies for loss of limb or organ function

  • Patients may receive prosthetics (artificial part made for the body) and learn how to use adaptive devices.

  • Patients may stay in these facilities or be treated on an outpatient basis. (Patient does not require hospitalization, but is under a physician’s care.)



  • Stresses wellness (preventive health care) Focuses on keeping a person healthy

  • Provides health services that include hospitalizations, basic medical services, immunizations (substance given to make disease organisms harmless to the patient; may be given orally or by injection)


  • Provides care in the home for patients/clients who need health services but not hospitalization

  • Services include nursing, physical therapy, personal care (bathing, dressing, etc.), and homemaking (cleaning, food shopping and preparation)

  • Home health care workers provide care for all ages from infants to the elderly.


  • An international agency sponsored by the United Nations

  • Founded in 1948

  • Concerned with world health problems; publishes health information, compiles statistics, and investigates serious health problems worldwide


  • This organization helps care for terminally ill patients (with less than 6 months to live).

  • The hospice philosophy is to help the terminally ill patient/client live each day to the fullest - usually at home.

  • Patients are kept comfortable and free from pain.

  • Involves families which are counseled and helped to accept the impending death of a loved one. After the death, the family has continuing support for at least a year.

  • These facilities usually need to sponsor Fund-raising activities help with expenses. No one is turned away for financial reasons.


  • Volunteer agencies receive support from donations, gifts, membership fees, fund-raisers, and endowments.

  • Endowments are gifts of property or money given to a group or organization.

  • Are not supported by the government and are staffed by many volunteers. (Most do not get paid.)

  • Raise money for medical research and for the education of the public concerning various health problems.

Some well-known agencies include:

American Cancer Society

March of Dimes

American Red Cross

American Heart Association

American Diabetes Association

The federal, state, and local governments provide health services. These services are funded by taxes.
Veterans Administration Hospitals

Federally supported

Provide care for veteran who served in the armed forces
U.S. Public Health Department

Federal agency with six major responsibilities:

  • Performing research in diseases that kill, handicap, or cripple

  • Preventing and treating alcohol and drug abuse

  • Preventing and controlling diseases that are transmitted by insects, animals, air, water, and people

  • Checking food and drugs for safety

  • Planning more effective ways to deliver health services

  • Making quality care available and affordable by encouraging health personnel to work in undeserved areas

Public Health Department

  • Provides services to local communities

  • Responsible for reporting communicable diseases, public health nursing, health education, environmental sanitation (methods used to keep the environment clean)

  • Keeps records including immunization records, health inspection, birth records, and death statistics

  • Also provides maternal and child health services

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