A hospital is a place where people can go to get medical treatment. It is staffed by doctors, nurses and other medically trained personnel. A hospital can be just a single building or many buildings, generally each building housing different facilities with specialised services.
A person can get diagnosed and treated and can then go straight home (outpatients) or they can be admitted and confined there with round the clock available medical help with accommodation from one day to when they die (inpatients) e.g. victims of car accidents or terminally ill patients.
Hospitals can even be a place of danger for some people as they may be suffering from afflictions which have attacked their immune system making them susceptible to picking up other patients' sicknesses and infections. Golden staphylococcus is a bacteria that is prevalent the world over and is responsible for many deaths from contracting it.
Hospitals can be classified into a few ways.
A general hospital provides service to treat many injuries and diseases. They normally have an emergency department to cater to situations that require immediate attention like injuries from car and general accidents, crime (e.g. stabbing, shooting), heart attacks, sports injuries, drowning, poisoning and other immediate life-threatening situations. Most hospitals have the capacity to dispatch emergency medical services to patients or bring patients in for treatment. A general hospital is by and large the major health care provider, with large amount of beds for intensive care and long-term care; and doctors with skills in many areas.
Specialist hospitals include rehabilitation hospitals, children's hospitals, women's hospitals, geriatric hospitals, psychiatric hospitals and hospitals for infectious diseases to name a few.
Teaching hospitals combine patient care with teaching and training of medical students.
Clinics are medical facility smaller than a hospital is generally called a clinic). Clinics generally provide only outpatient services.