Most doctors are affiliated with one or more hospitals where they
can perform procedures on the patients they see in their offices.
Hospitals offer a variety of services that mainly cover inpatient
procedures that require overnight stays or outpatient operations
that require anesthesia or use of expensive diagnostic and surgical
Most hospitals provide emergency care for traumas and other serious
conditions. Emergency room staffs are prepared to provide triage
and stabilize patients until they can be moved to a room or treated
Many hospitals provide maternity care. Rooms are available that are
all-inclusive where mothers can give birth, nurse their babies and
spend a day two recovering from the delivery. Other hospitals
utilize operating rooms for deliveries and nurseries for the
newborns. Newborn intensive care facilities are available at most
hospitals for babies born prematurely or with other serious medical
conditions. Maternity hospitals also prepare for emergency
deliveries and those with complications that require special care.
Hospitals are the largest employers of nurses, who staff all
sections in hospitals. Nurses carry out the orders provided by
doctors and see to the daily needs of patients who are staying in
rooms at the hospital. Nurses assist physicians in surgery and
staff various services in hospitals 24 hours a day.
Hospitals stock and staff surgical suites that can be used for
outpatient services or in-depth procedures, such as transplants,
heart surgery and repairing broken bones. While many hospitals
employ surgeons full-time on staff, others make their surgical
services available to affiliated doctors. Surgical services include
anesthesiology services, nursing care, pre- and post-operative
rooms, and lab and x-ray technicians.
Hospitals provide pharmacy services that supply patients with
medications as prescribed. In addition to providing inpatients with
medicine, many hospital pharmacies can fill prescriptions for
patients as they leave.
Various hospitals provide specialty services such as cardiology
wards, cancer centers, pediatric services and rehabilitation units.
Nurses and technicians who work in specialty units receive
additional training to serve that population. Patients may receive
ongoing treatment as outpatients through a hospital-run clinic as
well as surgical and rehabilitation services in the same facility.
Specialty units at hospitals typically provide social services in
addition to medical treatments in the form of specialized referrals
or in-house counselors.