July 16, 2024

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Five key roles in maintaining patients’ physical health

5 min read
Five key roles in maintaining patients’ physical health
Five key roles in maintaining patients’ physical health

Medical staff members are an important part of patients’ physical healthcare. This group of dedicated personnel work alongside doctors to provide the support required to improve the recovery process of patients. Their impact on healthcare cannot be overemphasized.

Staff members include:

  • Family nurse practitioners (FNPs)
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Social workers
  • Other healthcare personnel who safeguard patients’ health

While each of these groups plays a unique role, they all work towards ensuring the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of patients. If you are interested in becoming a medical staff member, one option is to study an online MSN FNP program from a reputable institution such as Carson-Newman University. This 32-month program for registered nurses includes 100% online coursework, a 3-day on-campus residency to connect you with peers and instructors and provides a clinical placement close to your home.

If you’re wondering what staff members do, here are five ways they play an important role in healthcare:

Speed the recovery process of patients

With dedication and expertise, medical staff provide execute care plans to deliver care to patients and monitor their overall progress. These professionals ensure that patients receive the best treatment to speed up their recovery process. They also work to minimize complications and increase patient health in an efficient manner.

For instance, FNPs often provide routine primary health care. This typically includes regular checkups, disease management and vaccinations. These activities help patients to avoid health complications and to recover quickly when they do suffer from a complication, while supporting their emotional and social wellbeing.

Speech and language therapists often work with patients with speech defects using techniques such as articulation therapy, oral motor therapy and language intervention therapy to improve their speech patterns. These techniques help to resolve communication problems with patients.

Provide holistic care

While nurses and doctors often deliver emergency care and effective surgical procedures, staff members are typically responsible for maintaining the overall health of their patients. They work to identify the various areas in which patients need assistance, even if they’re not directly related to the patient’s current health challenge.

For instance, a patient who collapses as a result of a stroke might be diagnosed by an FNP. Physiotherapists work with the FNPs to ensure that the patient regains their physical mobility. However, speech therapists are also needed to ensure that the patient can speak clearly. Together, these staff members provide holistic patient care that addresses patients’ emotional, physical and social health. Without this collaboration, the patient might take longer to regain their independence.

Provide health education

Patient education is an important role that staff members play in healthcare. They work to maintain patients’ physical health by providing them with information relevant to their health conditions. This information can be provided through education about the available treatment plans, mitigating techniques to prevent escalation and instructions to manage symptoms relevant to their conditions.

Staff members also provide clear explanations about a patient’s ailments. They break down medical terminology into the simplest form to help the patient understand and identify ways to tackle their challenges. Staff members also provide patients with educational materials that can enhance the patient’s learning experience. These materials often include self-care practices to boost recovery, motivation to keep trying and to eventually achieve optimal physical health.

Support rehabilitation and mobility

Rehabilitation can be defined as comprehensive care designed to restore functional ability and mobility to people living with disabilities or who have experienced serious injury. Physiotherapists are specially trained to diagnose, manage and treat musculoskeletal conditions and physical impairment.

Physiotherapists, also known as physical therapists, use their expertise to identify the root cause of physical pain or limited mobility. They design personalized treatment strategies to address the physical needs of each patient. These strategies could involve a range of therapeutic interventions or techniques to help manage pain during the recovery process.

Another role physiotherapists play is in restoring mobility to their patients. They help to improve their motion and overall physical health. Stroke survivors, for instance, often need to complete several sessions with a physiotherapist to improve and restore their ability to move and perform day-to-day tasks. Patients recovering from cancer may require similar assistance. This form of rehabilitation helps patients fully recover through the support of medical practitioners.

Address patients’ social and emotional wellbeing

Medical social workers manage the overall wellbeing of patients. Their role is as a care coordinator between the patient and the physician administering treatments. This means that social workers need to understand the patients in their care, communicate with essential practitioners and design interventions for the patients. This helps provide patients with the support they need while consciously aiming to intervene in any challenges.

Social workers also act as patient advocates and communicate their needs to the doctor. This can be important when the patient has reservations about a particular treatment and wishes to pursue an alternative treatment route. Patients can inform the social worker of their decision and social workers can in turn explain the concerns of the patient to the physician.

Another role social workers play is in maintaining the emotional wellbeing of patients. They conduct a wellbeing assessment on their patients and check on their physical and mental needs. They take a biopsychosocial approach to caring for the patient. If a patient is suffering emotionally, the social worker is expected to know first. They can help to provide the support that the patient needs to achieve physical and emotional wellbeing.

For instance, some patients have underlying emotional issues that have reduced their response to treatment. Social workers need to step in to understand in-depth what the patient’s fears and concerns are and identify how they can help to hasten recovery. This helps to support the patient’s health without exposing them to harm.


Staff members are an essential part of global healthcare. While they’re not often mentioned in discussions about healthcare, their roles cannot be overlooked as they support recovery processes. By understanding their roles, you can determine if you want to pursue a similar career path, change lives and help people improve their physical health.

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