Front Desk Person – This person answers phones, performs scheduling tasks, assists with medical records. They are frequently the people who greet patients when they check in for an appointment. If needed, an MAs can also perform a CTA’s role.
MA (medical assistant) – This person can perform both clinical and administrative duties. They are the people that room patients and take their vitals. They also can draw labs. They sometimes help with the CTA roles if needed.
Nurse – A nurses’ job description varies significantly based on the environment in which he/she works. At our clinic, our nurses answer MANY triage phone calls throughout the day addressing things like medication refill requests and guiding patients to come to clinic vs. go to the emergency room for their issues. They also help in clinic if IVs or certain medications need to be given.
Nurse Practitioner – A nurse practitioner is a nurse who has received additional advanced training such that they are skilled to take a patient’s history, perform an exam, make a diagnosis and offer treatment. In our clinic, our nurse practitioners serve as the primary care provider for many patients.
Physician Assistant – A physician assistant is another type of provider that can take a patient’s history, perform an exam, make a diagnosis and offer treatment, similar to a nurse practitioner or a physician. Their job descriptions vary based on their work environment, as some PAs choose to work in the hospital. Like nurse practitioners, the physician assistant position was created in the 1960s to help meet the need for more healthcare providers.
Doctor of Psychology – At our clinic, we have several behavioral health providers who have received doctorate level training in psychology. Similar to the psychology intern, they see patients independently, in co-consultation visits with medical residents, and on the fly after a patient’s appointment, if desired.
Pharmacist – Pharmacists complete college, four years of pharmacy school, +/- residency training specific to the type of environment in which they hope to practice. Retail pharmacists (aka, the person behind the counter at the local drug store) does not need to complete a residency.
Family Physician – aka doctor, this person has completed 4 years of medical school, 3 years of family medicine residency and has passed the Family Medicine boards to become “board-certified
Behavioral Health – A lump term for all the psychology providers within the clinic.
Care Manager – Care managers are trained professionals who are skilled at helping patients navigate the healthcare system. At our clinic, our care manager has been a huge help in launching our quality improvement efforts. She helps arrange care for complicated patients and helps providers understand what resources are available to a patient.
Provider – This is a generic term that is used to describe any of the higher trained fields including medical resident, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or physician. We sometimes include behavioral health providers under this term.
Primary Care Provider – A patient’s main provider. This can be a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.
Care Team – This term refers to all the staff members a patient typically sees. Because we are broken into three pods, a patient usually only sees care team members within their pod. This includes MAs, providers, and sometimes a care manager.
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