Hospital

Hospital
NewYorkPresbyterian-Cornell.jpg
NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital in New York City is one of the world's busiest hospitals. Pictured is the Weill Cornell facility (white complex at the centre).

A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment with specialized medical and nursing staff and medical equipment.[1] The best-known type of hospital is the general hospital, which typically has an emergency department to treat urgent health problems ranging from fire and accident victims to a sudden illness. A district hospital typically is the major health care facility in its region, with many beds for intensive care and additional beds for patients who need long-term care. Specialized hospitals include trauma centers, rehabilitation hospitals, children's hospitals, seniors' (geriatric) hospitals, and hospitals for dealing with specific medical needs such as psychiatric treatment (see psychiatric hospital) and certain disease categories. Specialized hospitals can help reduce health care costs compared to general hospitals.[2] Hospitals are classified as general, specialty, or government depending on the sources of income received.

A teaching hospital combines assistance to people with teaching to medical students and nurses. A medical facility smaller than a hospital is generally called a clinic. Hospitals have a range of departments (e.g. surgery and urgent care) and specialist units such as cardiology. Some hospitals have outpatient departments and some have chronic treatment units. Common support units include a pharmacy, pathology, and radiology.

Hospitals are usually funded by public funding, health organisations (for profit or nonprofit), health insurance companies, or charities, including direct charitable donations. Historically, hospitals were often founded and funded by religious orders, or by charitable individuals and leaders.[3]

Currently, hospitals are largely staffed by professional physicians, surgeons, nurses, and allied health practitioners, whereas in the past, this work was usually performed by the members of founding religious orders or by volunteers. However, there are various Catholic religious orders, such as the Alexians and the Bon Secours Sisters that still focus on hospital ministry in the late 1990s, as well as several other Christian denominations, including the Methodists and Lutherans, which run hospitals.[4] In accordance with the original meaning of the word, hospitals were originally "places of hospitality", and this meaning is still preserved in the names of some institutions such as the Royal Hospital Chelsea, established in 1681 as a retirement and nursing home for veteran soldiers.

  1. ^ "Hospitals". World Health Organization. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  2. ^ "India's 'production line' heart hospital". bbcnews.com. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  3. ^ Hall, Daniel (December 2008). "Altar and Table: A phenomenology of the surgeon-priest". Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. 81 (4): 193–98. PMC 2605310. PMID 19099050. Although physicians were available in varying capacities in ancient Rome and Athens, the institution of a hospital dedicated to the care of the sick was a distinctly Christian innovation rooted in the monastic virtue and practise of hospitality. Arranged around the monastery were concentric rings of buildings in which the life and work of the monastic community was ordered. The outer ring of buildings served as a hostel in which travellers were received and boarded. The inner ring served as a place where the monastic community could care for the sick, the poor and the infirm. Monks were frequently familiar with the medicine available at that time, growing medicinal plants on the monastery grounds and applying remedies as indicated. As such, many of the practicing physicians of the Middle Ages were also clergy.
  4. ^ Lovoll, Odd (1998). A Portrait of Norwegian Americans Today. U of Minnesota Press. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-8166-2832-2.