There are many hospital departments
There are many hospital departments, staffed by a wide variety of healthcare professionals, with some crossover between departments. For example, physiotherapists often work in different departments and doctors often do the same, working on a general medical ward as well as an intensive or coronary care unit. Each department tends to be overseen by consultants in that specialty with a team of junior medical staff under them who are also interested in that specialty.
Accident and emergency this department (sometimes called Casualty) is where you're likely to be taken if you've called an ambulance in an emergency. It's also where you should come if you've had an accident, but can make your own way to hospital. This department operates 24 hours a day, every day and are staffed and equipped to deal with all emergencies. Patients are assessed and seen in order of need, usually with a separate minor injuries area supported by nurses.
Doctors in this department give anesthetics for operations. They are responsible for the provision of acute pain services (pain relief after an operation), chronic pain services (pain relief in long-term conditions such as arthritis), critical care services (pain relief for those who have had a serious accident or trauma), obstetric anesthesia and analgesia (epidurals in childbirth and anesthetic for Caesarean sections). Cardiology provides medical care to patients who have problems with their heart or circulation.
It treats people on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Typical procedures performed include an electrocardiogram (ECG) and exercise tests to measure heart function, an echocardiogram is an ultrasound scan of the heart, scans of the carotid artery in your neck to determine stroke risk, 24-hour blood pressure tests, insertion of pacemakers, cardiac catheterization or coronary angiography to see if there are any blocks in your arteries.
Critical care is also called intensive care; this unit is for the most seriously ill patients. It has a relatively small number of beds and is manned by specialist doctors and nurses, as well as by consultant anesthetists, physiotherapists and dietitians. Patients requiring intensive care are often transferred from other hospitals or from other departments in the same hospital.
Diagnostic imaging which is also known as X-ray, this department provides a full range of diagnostic imaging services including general radiography (X-ray scans), scans for Accident and Emergency, mammography which is breast scans, ultrasound scans, angiography which is an X-ray of blood vessels, interventional radiology which is a minimally invasive procedures, to treat narrowed arteries, Computed Tomography or CT scanning which is a scan that shows cross sections of the body, Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI is a 3D scan using magnetic and radio waves.
The Ear, Nose and Throat or ENT department provides care for patients with a variety of problems, including general ear, nose and throat diseases, neck lumps, cancers of the head and neck area, tear duct problems, facial skin lesions, balance and hearing disorders, snoring and sleep apnea, ear, nose and throat allergy problems, salivary gland diseases and voice disorders. Gastroenterology is run by consultants specializing in bowel-related medicine, this department investigates and treats upper and lower gastrointestinal disease, as well as diseases of the pancreas and bile duct system.
This includes endoscopy and nutritional services. Sub-specialties include colerectal surgery, inflammatory bowel disease and swallowing problems. There are often endoscopy nurse specialists linked to a gastroenterology unit who are able to perform a wide range of bowel investigations. The general surgery ward covers a wide range of surgery and includes day surgery, thyroid surgery, kidney transplants, colon surgery, laparoscopic cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal, Endoscopy and breast surgery. Day surgery units have a high turnover of patients who attend for minor surgical procedures such as hernia repairs.
Gynecology investigates and treats problems of the female urinary tract and reproductive organs, such as endometritis, infertility and incontinence. They also provide a range of care for cervical smear screening and post-menopausal bleeding checks. They usually have a specialist ward, a day surgery unit, an emergency gynecology assessment unit and outpatient clinics. Women now have a choice of who leads their maternity care and where they give birth. Care can be led by a consultant, a gynecologist or a midwife. Maternity wards provide antenatal care, care during childbirth and postnatal support.
Antenatal clinics provide monitoring for both routine and complicated pregnancies. High-dependency units can offer one-to-one care for women who need close monitoring when there are complications in pregnancy or childbirth. Neonatal units have a number of cots that are used for intensive, high-dependency and special care for newborn babies. It always maintains close links with the hospital maternity department, in the interest of babies and their families. Neonatal units have the philosophy that, whenever possible, mother and baby should be together.
These units provide maternity services such as antenatal and postnatal care, prenatal diagnosis unit and maternal and fetal surveillance. Overseen by consultant obstetricians and gynecologists, there is a wide range of attached staff linked to them, including specialist nurses, midwives and imaging technicians. Care can include general inpatient and outpatient treatment, colposcopy, laser therapy or hysteroscopy for abnormal cervical cells psychosexual counseling, recurrent miscarriage unit and early pregnancy unit. Hematology services work closely with the hospital laboratory.
These doctors treat blood diseases and malignancies linked to the blood, with both new referrals and emergency admissions being seen. The microbiology department looks at all aspects of microbiology, such as bacterial and viral infections. They have become increasingly high profile following the rise of hospital-acquired infections, such as MRSA. MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a type of Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to the antibacterial activity of methicillin and other related antibiotics of the penicillin class.
A head microbiology consultant and team of microbiologists test patient samples sent to them by medical staff from the hospital and from doctors' surgeries. Nephrology monitors and assesses patients with kidney (renal) problems. Nephrologists (kidney specialists) will liaise with the transplant team in cases of kidney transplants. They also supervise the dialysis day unit for people who are waiting for a kidney transplant or who are unable to have a transplant for any reason. The Renal unit is closely linked with nephrology teams at hospitals; these units provide hemodialysis treatment for patients with kidney failure.
Many of these patients are on waiting lists for a kidney transplant. They also provide facilities for peritoneal dialysis and help facilitate home hemodialysis. Neurology deals with disorders of the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. It's run by doctors who specialize in this area called neurologists and their staff. There are also pediatric neurologists who treat children. Neurologists may also be involved in clinical research and clinical trials. Trained dieticians and nutritionists provide specialist advice on diet for hospital wards and outpatient clinics, forming part of a multidisciplinary team.
The department works across a wide range of specialties such as diabetes, cancer, kidney problems, pediatrics, elderly care, surgery, critical care and gastroenterology. They also provide group education to patients with diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis, and work closely with weight management groups. Occupational therapy helps people who are physically or mentally impaired, including temporary disability after medical treatment. It practices in the fields of both healthcare and social care. The aim of occupational therapy is to restore physical and mental functioning to help people participate in life to the fullest.
Occupational therapy assessments often guide hospital discharge planning, with the majority of patients given a home assessment to understand their support needs. Staff also arranges provision of essential equipment and adaptations that are essential for discharge from hospital. Oncology provides radiotherapy and a full range of chemotherapy treatments for cancerous tumors and blood disorders. Staffed by specialist doctors and nurses trained in oncology (cancer care), it has close links with surgical and medical teams in other departments.
Ophthalmology provides a range of ophthalmic services for adults and children, including general eye clinic appointments, laser treatments, optometry (sight testing), prosthetic eye services and ophthalmic imaging (eye scans). Orthopedic departments treat problems that affect your musculoskeletal system. That's your muscles, joints, bones, ligaments, tendons and nerves. The doctors and nurses who run this department deal with everything from setting bone fractures to carrying out surgery to correct problems such as torn ligaments and hip replacements.
Orthopedic trauma includes fractures and dislocations as well as musculoskeletal injuries to soft tissues. Specialist doctors called rheumatologists run the unit and are experts in the field of musculoskeletal disorders (bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves). Their role is to diagnose conditions and recommend appropriate treatment, if necessary from the orthopedic department. The rheumatologist may need to review you regularly, either in person or via one of the rheumatology team.
Pain management clinics are usually run by consultant anesthetists’, these clinics aim to help treat patients with severe long-term pain that appears resistant to normal treatments. Depending on the hospital, a wide range of options are available, such as acupuncture, nerve blocks and drug treatment. The hospital pharmacy is run by pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and attached staff. It's responsible for drug-based services in the hospital, including the purchasing, supply and distribution of medication and pharmaceuticals, inpatient and outpatient dispensing, clinical and ward pharmacy and the use of drugs.
A pharmacy will provide a drug formulary for hospital doctors to use as a guide. It will also help supervise any clinical trial management and ward drug-use review. Physiotherapists promote body healing, for example after surgery, through therapies such as exercise and manipulation. This means they assess, treat and advise patients with a wide range of medical conditions. They also provide health education to patients and staff on how to do things more easily. Their services are provided to patients on the wards, in the physiotherapy department itself and in rehabilitation units.
Physiotherapists often work closely with orthopedic teams. Radiotherapy is run by a combination of consultant doctors and specially trained radiotherapists; this department provides radiotherapy (X-ray) treatment for conditions such as malignant tumors and cancer. The urology department is run by consultant urology surgeons and their surgical teams. It investigates all areas linked to kidney and bladder-based problems. The department performs flexible cystoscopy bladder checks, urodynamic studies for incontinence, prostate assessments and biopsies and shockwave lithotripsy to break up kidney stones.