A health care professional is a trained person who delivers medical care in a systematic way, following prescribed protocols and procedures. The term "health care professional" covers everything from a doctor, nurse and physical therapist to a pharmacist and nutritionist. Various degrees and specialties cover the work of a health care worker and determine the amount of money they earn.
While there are many administrative and managerial positions within the health care field, a health care professional typically delivers some form of clinical care directly to patients.
The well-being of patients is the primary concern of any health care provider. All health care professionals must comply with federal privacy laws, such as the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Health care professionals carry various levels of malpractice and liability insurance in case they make a mistake. The amount of coverage required varies with the risks taken by the provider.
The health care industry is seeing dramatic growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that health care will be the fastest-growing industry well into 2016.
The health care work force is one of the most educated groups of workers in the United States, though most health care professionals do not earn more than a four-year degree in their field of expertise.
Nearly half of all health care professionals work in an ambulatory setting in clinics and private practices.