explore different types of occupational opportunities in health and social care
Health provision is traditionally split between primary care, the first point of professional contact (eg, general practitioners, dentists, opticians and support occupations; occupational health, [ health education and promotion) for patients in the community, and secondary care, specialised treatment, normally carried out in hospital. Recent developments in primary care have been the
introduction of NHS walk-in-centres and NHS Direct – a telephone advice service on personal health matters, which now also available online.
The NHS employs a vast variety of different categories of staff, which can be grouped roughly as follows:
- Doctors – including consultants, registrars, senior house officers and associate specialists.
- Qualified nurses – including midwives, health visiting staff, nurse consultants, nurse practitioners, modern matrons, nurse managers and bank nurses.
- Qualified scientific, therapeutic & technical staff (ST&T) – qualified health support professionals who are categorised into the following two groups:
- Allied health professionals (AHPs) – chiropodists/podiatrists, dietitians, occupational therapists, orthoptists, physiotherapists, radiographers, and art/music/drama therapists.
- Other qualified ST&T staff – clinical psychologists, pharmacists, pathologists, speech and language therapists, prosthetists and orthotists. This section also includes clinical and biomedical scientists specialising in disciplines such as genetics, immunology, biochemistry, audiology, medical physics, microbiology, haematology and toxicology.
- Qualified ambulance staff – ambulance paramedics and ambulance personnel.
- Support staff – all the above functions also require support staff, many of whom work in patient contact roles, including nursing assistants, nursing auxiliaries, nursery nurses, health care assistants and porters. Also included are clerical and administrative staff, for example medical secretaries and medical records officers, and maintenance and works staff.
- NHS infrastructure support - including areas such as personnel, finance, information technology, legal services, library services, health education and associated support services. ]