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A medpunkt (health care access point) delivers primary health care to the residents of the village of Veliki Vrag in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia
The entrance to a surgery clinic in Greenwich, London

A clinic (or an outpatient clinic) is a small private or public health facility that is devoted to the care of outpatients, often in a community, in contrast to larger hospitals, which also treat inpatients. Some grow to be institutions as large as major hospitals, whilst retaining the name clinic. These are often associated with a hospital or medical school.

General practice clinics are run by one or several general practitioners or practice managers. Physiotherapy clinics are usually operated by physiotherapists and psychology clinics by clinical psychologists, and so on for each health profession. Some clinics are operated in-house by employers, government organizations or hospitals and some clinical services are outsourced to private corporations, specialising in provision of health services. In China, for example, owners of those clinics do not have formal medical education. Health care in India, China, Russia and Africa is provided to vast rural areas by mobile health clinics or roadside dispensaries, some of which integrate traditional health practices. In India these traditional clinics provide ayurvedic medicine and unani herbal medical practice. In each of these countries traditional medicine tends to be a hereditary practice.

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Etymology

The word derives from the Greek klinein meaning to slope, lean or recline. Hence kline a couch or bed, klinikos sloping or reclining and to Latin clinicus [1]. An early use of the word clinic was, 'one who receives baptism on a sick bed' [2]. Psychoanalytic clinics traditionally have the patient reclining on a couch to undergo analysis.

Function

The function of clinics will differ from country to country. For instance, a local general practice run by a single general practitioner will provide primary health care, and will usually be run as a for-profit business by the owner whereas a government specialist clinic may provide subsidized specialized health care.

Some clinics function as a place for people with injuries or illnesses to come and be seen by triage nurse or other health worker. In these clinics, the injury or illness may not be serious enough to warrant a visit to an emergency room, but the person can be moved to one if required. Treatment at these clinics is often less expensive than it would be at a casualty department. Also, unlike an ER these clinics are often not open on a 24 x 7 x 365 basis. They sometimes have access to diagnostic equipment such as X-ray machines, especially if the clinic is part of a larger facility. Doctors at such clinics can often refer patients to specialists if the need arises.

Types

  • In the United States, a free clinic provides free or low cost health care for those without insurance.
  • A Retail Based Clinic is housed in supermarkets and similar retail outlets providing walk in health care, which may be staffed by nurse practitioners.
  • A general out-patient clinic is a clinic offering a community general diagnoses or treatments without an overnight stay.
  • A polyclinic is a place where a wide range of health care services (including diagnostics) can be obtained without need of an overnight stay
  • A specialist clinic is a clinic with in-depth diagnosis or treatment on diseases of specific parts of the body. This type of clinic contrasts with general out-patient clinics, which deal with general diseases.

Examples

See also

References

  1. ^ 'Origins - a short etymological dictionary of modern English' by Eric Partridge Book club associates 1966
  2. ^ Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 )[1]

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Simple English

clinic in Greenwich, London.]]

A clinic is a medical facility that gives health care for patients in an area. It is different from a hospital, because people do not stay in a clinic for a long time. Some clinics can become as large as hospitals, but still have the name Clinic. Small clinics are run by one or more general practitioners or practice managers. Physiotherapy clinics are run by physiotherapists, psychology clinics run by clinical psychologists, and so on for each type of health care. Some clinics are operated, or run, by employers. Other clinics are owned by people who do not have medical education, like in China.

Some clinics are a place for people with injuries or illness to come and be seen by triage nurse or other health worker. In these clinics, the injury or illness may not be large or dangerous enough to warrant a visit to an emergency room, but the person can be moved to one if they need to be. These clinics sometimes can use equipment such as X-ray machines. Doctors at these clinics can send patients to specialists, a doctor who is very good at one kind of medicine.

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Where the word came from

The word clinic comes from the Greek word klinein, which means to put something at an angle, or to lie down. Latin has the word clinicus, which is a lot like the word we use today.[1] An early meaning of the word clinic was, 'one who gets baptism on a sick bed'.[2]

Types of clinics

  • In the United States, a free clinic provides free or low cost health care for people without insurance.
  • A Retail Based Clinic is put in placed like shops, and may be staffed by nurse practitioners.
  • A general out-patient clinic is a clinic offering treatment without an overnight stay.
  • A polyclinic is a clinic, hospital, or school where many diseases are treated and studied.
  • A fertility clinic helps women to become pregnant.
  • An abortion clinic is a medical facility providing certain kinds of medical care, such as abortion to women.

Other pages

  • Simple Clinic, a free retail clinic chain.
  • Abortion clinic
  • Free clinic
  • Clinical Management System

References

  1. 'Origins - a short etymological dictionary of modern English' by Eric Partridge Book club associates 1966
  2. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 )[1]







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