Roles of Health Care Professionals
What is this tool?
This tool provides an overview of a number of health care professions in order to give healthcare learners and providers a general understanding of other’s roles and responsibilities. It presents information about what each profession does, the education they receive, where they might work, and how they are licensed and regulated. This tool provides information on the following professions:
- Dental Hygienist
- Genetic Counselor
- Occupational Therapist
- Physical Therapist
- Social Worker
- Speech Language Pathologist
Why focus on role clarification?
The complex world of interprofessional collaboration
Role clarification is complex. A healthcare professional’s role depends upon a number of inter-related variables: scopes of practice that are constantly evolving; the context in which they practice (e.g. acute vs community setting, interdisciplinary clinic vs unidisciplinary clinic, etc); and the unique competencies or skills that each practitioner possesses. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a comprehensive list of what each profession does. The diagram below illustrates how a professional’s role is determined by their scope of practice, their individual competence, and the setting in which they practice or the patient population they serve.