Dispensing opticians help fit eyewear and contact lenses to ensure patients’ corrective eyewear meets their vision correction needs. Dispensing opticians receive customer’s prescriptions, measures the patient’s facial features, and helps select appropriate lenses, frames, or contact lenses. They also educate customers about how to best care for their glasses or contact lenses.
Optometrists are a specially trained health care professional who receives a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree.
They are responsible for the main vision correction, and screen for advanced medical conditions of the eye, like glaucoma or complications of diabetes.
Furthermore, optometrists may treat patients who have limited sight and provide pre-and post-operative care after patients’ undergo eye surgery.
Orthotists and prosthetists help design and fit individuals for braces and artificial limbs to help those who have lost a limb due to illness or traumatic injury be able to move independently.
Technology has created big advances in prosthetic devices, including artificial legs that allow people to run and artificial hands that are controlled by the arm muscles.
Physical Therapy Assistants (PTA’s) are part of the physical therapy team that assists patients in recovering from illnesses, injury, or surgery, that may have limited the patient’s movement or quality of life.
Working at the direction and under supervision of a physical therapist, PTA’s teach patients excerices and stretches, monitor their progress, record notes, and help patients use assistive devices like crutches, canes, or wheelchairs.
Physical therapy assistants must have an associate’s degree from an accredited PTA program. Most PTA’s work in the same settings as physical therapists: hospitals, dedicated physical therapy clinics, long-term care facilities, or in the home of patients.
Physical Therapists work with patients to reduce pain, increase movement, and other physical activities after surgery, injury, or illness.
Physical therapists treat patients through exercise, massage, stretching, heat and cold, or other tools to reduce pain. Physical therapists can work in dedicated physical therapy offices, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or visit patients’ homes.
Physical therapists are required to earn a post-graduate degree, most often a Doctor of Physical Therapy, in addition to a bachelor’s degree.
Doctors of Podiatric Medicine, commonly called Podiatrists, are specially-trained doctors of the feet.
They diagnose and treat common foot, ankle, and lower leg problems using physical exams, x-rays, and laboratory tests. Some of common ailments that require podiatric care include bunions, bone spurs, arch issues, and hammer toes.
Depending how severe a foot problem may be, a podiatrist may perform surgery, prescribe medications, create orthotic inserts, or refer patients to receive other medical care.
Like physicians, podiatrists must earn undergraduate and graduate degrees and complete a three year residency program.
Pharmacy Technicians – or pharmacy techs – assist licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication.
Most Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies you can find grocery or drug stories or in hospitals. They are responsible for working with customers to record information, count and measure medications, and package and label prescriptions.
Pharmacy technicians are also responsible for answering calls from customers and interacting with visitors. Becoming a pharmacy technician requires a high-school diploma and additional training or an associate degree.
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Pharmacists must have an advanced Doctor of Pharmacy degree, and are responsible for filling prescriptions; ensuring medications do not conflict with each other, and provide advice to patients and doctors about possible side effects and alternative therapies.
Pharmacists can work in out-patient pharmacies filling prescriptions, or in hospitals working closely with other professionals to guide the care of very sick patients. Pharmacists also counsel patients on medical devices and equipment that may improve their quality of life.
Nurse Practitioners are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who provide higher levels of care: conducting exams, ordering tests, providing some diagnosis, and prescribing medications and other treatments, often in a primary care setting.
Nurse Practitioners, or NP’s, must earn a Master’s Degree in addition to a B.S.N. Once in practice, NP’s can prescribe medications, diagnose illnesses, coordinate complex patient care, or conduct medical research. Many NP’s work in hospital administration, managing parts (or even an entire) clinic, hospital, or health system.
Medical assistants are often one of the first health care professional patients see in during an office visit, recording the patient’s height, weight, and taking some samples.
In smaller offices, medical assistants may be responsible for a wide range of patient care and administrative tasks, while those in larger practices may specialize in a smaller area of patient care, medical records, referrals, or other area.
Medical assistants may also assist the physician during an exam or procedure.