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A clinician is a health care professional who works as a caregiver of a patient in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, clinic, or patient's home. Clinicians work directly with patients rather than in a laboratory or as a researcher. A clinician may diagnose, treat, and otherwise care for patients. For example, clinical pharmacists, licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), nurses, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, physiotherapists, dentists , optometrists and physicians can be considered clinicians. Many clinicians take comprehensive exams to be licensed and some complete graduate degrees (master's or doctorates) in their field of expertise.
A main function of a clinician is to manage a sick person in order to cure the effects of their illness. The clinician can also consider the impact of illness upon the patient and his or her family, as well as other social factors.