Health Services Around the World

Health services include hospitals, physicians’ offices and home healthcare agencies. These are just a few of the many different areas of the industry that can be found around the world.

The majority of senior healthcare is paid for through private insurance and government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. These funds help cover the cost of doctors, hospitals and prescription drugs.

Skilled Nursing

When a hospital stay just isn’t enough, your doctor may recommend skilled nursing care to help you or a loved one build strength to return home. This level of care includes high-level medical services and interventions that are directly supervised by licensed healthcare professionals like nurses and physical or occupational therapists.

Typically, skilled nursing care is prescribed for people who are coming out of the hospital following surgery or a serious health event and require daily medical attention until they can be more fully independent. This care is usually provided in a skilled nursing facility (also known as an SNF or “nursing home”), but it can also be delivered through a home healthcare agency.

Other types of care often offered by skilled nursing facilities include physical therapy to rebuild muscle strength and mobility, speech therapy that focuses on restoring communication and swallowing functions, and dietary management that helps with hydration and nutrition. It’s important to tour any skilled nursing facility that you are considering for yourself or a loved one to ask all the right questions.

Home Health Care

Home health care is medical care that comes to your home if you are recovering from an illness, surgery or injury. It is typically short-term and intermittent, and it aims to teach you or your family members how to manage your care at home to keep you as healthy as possible. It is also a great option for people living with chronic medical conditions.

It is usually provided by a home health agency. These agencies are staffed by healthcare professionals such as nurses and physical, occupational and speech therapists. They are licensed by the state and often seek additional accreditation to assure consumers that they meet quality standards.

It’s a good idea to ask friends and family for recommendations about home health care agencies. And once you’ve found an agency, be sure to check that it is Medicare-certified before you start receiving services. Medicare will pay only for home healthcare services that are medically necessary and recommended by a doctor.

School Health Services

School health services include acute and emergency care, care coordination and chronic disease management. Qualified professionals such as school nurses, nurse practitioners, dentists, health educators, physicians and physician assistants provide these services.

Research has shown that students with untreated chronic illnesses often miss classes and are more likely to drop out of school (Wolfe, 1985). In some cases, children must leave class to attend doctor’s appointments for routine check-ups or treatment of an illness. Providing convenient and accessible basic primary care to needy students can prevent these absences and promote better school performance by keeping them healthy.

In addition to responding to crisis medical situations, school-based health services staff offer a variety of mandated immunizations, tuberculosis screenings and physical examinations for international students and students returning from living abroad for one year or more. The staff also work to minimize health barriers to learning by identifying and supporting students who may be at risk of not succeeding in school due to their underlying health problems.

Public Health

Public health services are organized societal efforts to promote and protect the health of people, communities and populations. These services address a broad range of social and ecological factors that contribute to health and illness. Public health professionals are concerned with preventing disease and injury through monitoring the safety of food, water, and air; ensuring that hospitals provide quality care; and responding to emergencies.

If you’ve ever received a vaccination, eaten in a restaurant that has been inspected for foodborne illnesses, or had your water tested to ensure it is safe, you have benefited from the work of public health employees. These individuals, like epidemiologists, are responsible for collecting and analyzing data about the occurrence of diseases or other conditions and investigating what may have caused them.

In the United States, the Public Health Service is comprised of nine operating divisions within the Department of Health and Human Services and includes the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, one of the federal uniformed services.

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