Your Health Care Team

Woman at a medical appointment

A health care team is a group of medical professionals who provide patient care. They work together to develop a treatment plan for your care.

Talk to them openly and honestly so they can help you manage your blood pressure.

How can I find health care professionals for me?

It’s important to see a health care professional for annual visits, especially if you have high blood pressure. If it’s hard for you to get medical care because of transportation, cost or where you live, there may be other options available.

  • Search this website(link opens in new window) for a low-cost or free health center near you.
  • Ask your pharmacist for medication advice. They can also help check your blood pressure.
  • Ask your local social services office for help.

Taking care of yourself is important, and there are ways to find help.

Who may be part of my care team?

  • A cardiologist diagnoses and treats conditions related to the heart and blood vessel system.
  • A hypertension specialist diagnoses, treats and manages high blood pressure and related conditions.
  • A nurse provides hands-on care based on the patient's needs. They work alongside other health care professionals. They also might perform tests and provide education and counseling.
  • Nurse practitioners and physician associates can diagnose and treat health problems. They also might perform tests and provide education and counseling.
  • A nursing assistant or medical assistant provides basic patient care and performs clinical tasks.
  • Pharmacists are a great resource for information about your medications. They can tell you if one of your medications can interact with certain foods or other medications.
  • A primary care health care professional is usually a family doctor, general internist or family nurse practitioner who provides routine health care. This includes physical exams and basic tests.
  • A registered dietitian offers nutrition advice.

Who else may be part of my health care team?

Social workers provide services to promote social well-being, including:

  • Counseling
  • Job training
  • Financial help

Community health care workers are trained to help people understand health care services. They work with the local health care systems in urban and rural communities. They may be volunteers, or they may be paid for their work.

Community health care workers often share the same ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status and general life experiences with the people they serve.

They may go by many titles depending on what they do and who they work for. Some titles include:

  • Community health advisor
  • Family or health advocate
  • Health coach
  • Health educator
  • Health interpreter
  • Outreach educator
  • Patient navigator
  • Peer counselor
  • Peer health promoters or educators
  • Promotoras
  • Public health aide

Community health care workers may provide:

  • Translation services
  • Culturally appropriate health education
  • Informal counseling
  • Help in getting the care needed
  • Services such as first aid and blood pressure screening

Can I use telehealth?

Having access to health care professionals who share your culture may make you feel more comfortable. Consider using telehealth if you haven't found someone in your area who you feel understands you. With telehealth, you can chat online or on the phone. This may make it easier to find someone you connect with to get the care you need.

Look at these resources for help finding telehealth providers:

How can I get medical care without health insurance?

If you can't afford or don’t have insurance, there are options available to help you access health care.

  • Look into government-sponsored health care programs such as Medicaid or Medicare. They provide coverage for eligible people.
  • Try community health centers. They may offer services on a sliding fee scale based on your income.
  • Some hospitals and clinics have financial assistance or care programs if you don’t have insurance.
  • Payment plans are available at most hospitals and clinics.

What if I am uncomfortable with my health care professional?

Going for annual check-ups can help find health problems early and stop them from getting worse. Communication and regular visits can help to build trust between you and your primary health care professional.

If you aren’t comfortable with your medical professional:

  • It's OK to ask to see another health care professional.
  • You can ask to see someone else from the same clinic, a different office or online.
  • Get a reference for a health care professional from someone you know and trust.

Collaboration is key

The more you trust your health care professionals and tell them what's going on, the more they can help you. It's OK to ask questions and share your preferences and opinions about your condition and treatment options.

Once your treatment program becomes routine, maintaining a lower blood pressure is easier. By managing your blood pressure, you are lowering your risk for heart attack, stroke and other serious conditions

HBP questions to ask your doctor sheet 

Download a list of questions to ask your doctor (PDF) – also available in Spanish (PDF) – or use our interactive version.