As you begin to explore opportunities in the health care staffing sector, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of some of the terms you will encounter. A basic glossary is below.
- allied health professions — Health care professions distinct from dentistry, optometry, nursing, medicine and pharmacy. Include positions such as dietician, exercise physiologist, health care administrators and perfusionist.
- board certification — Validates expertise in a specialty of medical practice. Medical specialty certification is voluntary in the U.S. as compared to medical licensure, which sets the minimum competency requirements for designated medical professionals.
- extended contracting — Longer-term employment contracts covering 13, 26, and up to 52 weeks.
- fair market pricing — A flexible rate structure that assists clients in containing costs without sacrificing the quality of patient care.
- licensure — Official permission by a government authority required for an organization or individual to engage in a medical practice or activity. This includes licenses for medical facilities and health professionals.
- medical facility — A regulated facility in which medicine is practiced. Includes hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, pharmacies and even medical laboratories. May be owned and operated by for-profit businesses, nonprofit groups, government entities or individuals.
- nursing — The American Nurses Association definition is: Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations. Types of nurses include registered nurse (RN), nurse practitioner (NP), certified nurse-midwife (CNM), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and licensed practical nurse (LPN)/licensed vocational nurse (LVN).
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — Commonly referred to as Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, PPACA is a federal statute that was signed into law in March 2010. It is a significant government expansion and regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system with an objective is to increase health insurance coverage for Americans and reduce health care costs in general.
- per diem/casual — Temporary employment contracts based on day-to-day relief.
- pharmacy — Professional pharmacy positions involve the practice of dispensing and selling medicinal drugs and include pharmacists, pharmacy managers, pharmacy technicians and clinical pharmacists.
- radiology — A medical specialty that employs various imaging techniques, including x-rays and other high-energy radiation, for treatment and diagnosis. Radiology professionals include radiologists and radiologic technologists and numerous specialties.
- seasonal — Contracts covering specific times of the year, such as summer or winter.
- short-term relief — Temporary employment contracts covering 4 to 8 weeks (including leave or orientation coverage).
- therapy — In its simplest terms, therapy is the medical treatment of disease. In employment terms, therapists are usually practitioners such as occupational therapists, physical therapists and respiratory therapists.