Interdisciplinary Health Professionals
Who are they and what do they do?
Registered Nurse (RN)
RNs assess and analyze your health care needs, determine the appropriate service or treatment, the appropriate care provider or the appropriate equipment to provide you with the care. They provide nursing care and treatment, involve and encourage you to take action for your own health, and provide preventative health and health promotion information.
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
NPs are registered nurses with extra education and training. NPs manage most common illnesses and provide preventative care and education for healthy living. If you choose to work with a NP, you will still have access to a family doctor if your health situation goes beyond the ability of the NP to give you care.
Nurse Practitioners can:
Diagnose and treat injuries
Perform physicals (for all ages)
Provide prenatal care
Order and interpret many diagnostic tests
Write prescriptions and renew many medications
Provide counseling and education
Provide supportive care through illness
Make referrals to other health care practitioners
Social workers have unique training to assist an individual or group with skills development and problem solving. Whether the issues are of an individual, relationship or social nature, social workers can help in the navigation and solution focus of many of today’s problems. Family Health Team social workers have experience working with issues of depression, anxiety, stress, bereavement as well as adaption to illness.
Pharmacists help you and your family to manage your medication. They will work to prevent, identify and resolve medication related concerns. Pharmacists will often meet with you in person or over the phone, to discuss your prescription and non-prescription medications and help you take them in the safest and most effective way possible. They are also an important resource for information on products available to you without a prescription, such as vitamins, herbals, etc. Family Health Team pharmacists will often work closely with your family physician and your community pharmacist to help you get the most out of the medicines you and your family may take.
Dietitians apply their unique body of knowledge and expertise to support people in understanding and applying the principles of healthy eating throughout the entire life cycle. As members of an interdisciplinary team, dietitians can contribute to health promotion and illness prevention strategies, and develop specialized nutrition therapy and rehabilitation/support strategies to address specific nutrition-related illnesses. Family Health Team dietitians work with individuals and groups to improve their nutritional well-being; increase access to food and enhance personal control of health.
Respiratory therapists (RTs) are highly skilled health care professionals. They care for patients by evaluating, treating, and maintaining cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) function. Respiratory therapists have specialized medical expertise and use advanced medical technology. They are educated to treat all age groups, from newborns to the elderly. The respiratory therapist treats people with disorders affecting the cardiopulmonary system such as asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), pneumonia, and cardiovascular disorders. The RT also helps in the diagnosis of lung disease by performing a breathing test on the patient. The RT consults with physicians and other healthcare staff to develop and adjust patient care plans. The RT also plays a role in educating the patient and their family on how to treat, care, and cope with their lung disease.
Occupational therapists are regulated health professionals who work with people of all ages who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, barriers to participating in the occupations of everyday living – what people do to look after themselves, the work they do and the activities they choose for leisure. Barriers may result from injury, illness, chronic disease, disability, mental health problems, aging, developmental problems, etc. TVFHT occupational therapists will work with you, your family physician, and the inter-professional health team to identify barriers and then together identify solutions that remove or minimize barriers, promote health , maintain participation in daily occupations, restore independence and prevent disability.