When it comes to the healthcare setting, many units work together to provide quality care for patients. The three main types of units are primary, secondary, and tertiary care. Each of these units has varying subcategories and roles in the overall healthcare system.
Understanding the functions of every unit helps providers work together to offer the best possible care. In doing so, providers can deliver for patients from when they enter their team to when they leave. Let’s look into each unit and find out how they work together.
The emergency unit mainly operates out of an ER facility. The main goal is to provide quick medical attention for patients needing immediate interventions. You might deal with trauma patients or those experiencing heart attacks or strokes.
You’ll find that this unit operates at a breakneck pace. It’s paramount that you keep up with this environment and work efficiently without neglecting patient care. The staff is typically well-trained in emergency-related incidents, but they might not have the same understanding of chronic conditions or management for long-term illnesses.
Urgent Care Centers
This unit is typically not an emergency room (ER) facility, but it can be available for patients exhibiting symptoms that are likely to be life-threatening. Urgent care involves caring for patients experiencing severe symptoms but who do not need immediate emergency room interventions. This facility might treat a patient with chest pain or shortness of breath; however, ERs will typically handle these cases differently.
The average unit has staff similar to an ER facility, which means that you would work with members who have varying degrees of experience. These workers might also work in various units or have other primary duties.
Critical Care Unit
The primary purpose of this unit is to provide life-saving interventions. The patients on this unit typically require constant monitoring, and you would normally see them in the ICU or a surgical suite at first. Many members of critical care facilities also work as hospitalists, which means that they manage the care for each person at once rather than focusing on just one patient.
Many of the patients on this unit have undergone surgery or have been in a severe accident. They might also suffer from acute health events such as heart attacks, strokes, or sepsis. You will typically find that critical care units operate under strict rules and protocols compared to other teams.
These facilities are usually smaller clinics that focus on providing preventative and wellness care. You will not typically find many members of this unit working as hospitalists or specialized physicians. Instead, they offer primary services such as yearly check-ups and follow-up care.
Your local health department might run many community clinics, but others could be small private facilities that work under a larger healthcare company. The services and staff can vary depending on your location, which is why it’s essential to check with your local health department before applying for a job at one of these facilities.
Primary Care Unit
Primary care involves various medical settings such as hospitals or walk-in clinics. These facilities are generally small, so it has a smaller staff.
Like community clinics, primary care facilities might be part of a more extensive health system or run independently by other companies. Depending on location, they also vary in size, but most primary care facilities offer essential services to patients with nontraditional medical conditions.
The primary purpose of this unit is to provide care for women and their infants before and after birth. Many ob/gyn facilities have a mix of different specialists on their staff, including gynecologists and family practitioners. However, some facilities offer services from just one type of specialist or another.
The average patient population can vary between large urban areas with high demand for obstetricians and rural locations where residents might travel several hours to receive care. However, most of your patients on these units will be pregnant women or looking to become pregnant in the future.
Pediatric care facilities offer services for infants and children. These units can vary in size depending on the demand at a particular location. You might also find that some of these facilities have multiple floors or areas, which means you could see patients from different age groups. The most common age for children with medical problems is between 0-5 years old.
So, these are just a few of the different types of healthcare units that you might find in a hospital setting. It’s important to remember that each department operates differently, and you should research the specific team. You should also be aware of the primary duties of each unit so that you can better understand what to expect.