Your Health Care Team

You and your child may encounter many people when you visit the hospital. Below you will find a list that provides explanations of who works at the medical center and how they may help you and your child. Not everyone listed here will be on every patient's health care team, but we think it's important for you to know the staff you see here at CHaD.

Family

At CHaD we believe in patient- and family-centered care. That means the patient and family are members of the health care team. We value and respect your input in care decisions, and include you in our daily planning.

Physicians/providers

  • Attending/staff physician: A doctor who has completed all of their medical education. Attending physicians are considered to be the senior staff member responsible for patient care. They also supervise medical students and residents, which means they may have other people with them when they visit you.
  • Fellow: Doctors who have finished their residency (usually three to seven years after medical school) and is getting additional training in a specific area or working on research.
  • Resident/House officer: Doctors who are completing their post-graduate training in a specialty area of medicine. For example, a resident in general surgery will do a one-year internship and a four-year residency in surgery, plus three or four more years to specialize. A first year resident is also known as an intern.
  • Medical student: Medical students are college graduates who are studying to be a doctor. Medical school involves four years of academic and clinical education. Medical students are supervised by attending physicians.
  • Pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP)/Nurse practitioner (APRN): Nurses who have a master's degree, which requires two years of additional nursing training. PNPs are trained to provide extended nursing services in a primary care setting, which includes performing physical exams and prescribing medications.
  • Physician assistant (PA): Medical professionals who usually has a background in a health-related field plus two years of additional training in medical sciences. PAs provide patient care services under the supervision of a licensed physician.

Nurses

  • Clinical nurse educator: A nurse who oversees the orientation, yearly educational programs and support for nursing staff.
  • Clinical nurse specialist: A nurse who oversees nursing practice and provides consultation to nurses and patients.
  • Clinical resource coordinator (CRC-RN): The nurse who helps coordinate your child's care during the hospital stay, from admission to discharge. The CRC-RN also makes arrangements for home care and transfers to other care facilities or hospitals.
  • Nursing Director: The nurse responsible for oversight and staffing of CHaD inpatient nursing staff. The Nursing Director is a member of CHaD's leadership team.
  • Nurse manager: The nurse responsible for the daily management, operations, and oversight of the staff nurses and support staff.
  • Registered nurse (RN): A nurse who specializes in various medical areas. Generally, an RN serves as the coordinator of your child's treatment plan, administers medication, and starts intravenous therapy (IV) lines. A group of nurses who belong to the IV team assist the pediatric nursing staff with starting intravenous lines and obtaining blood work as needed.
  • Patient care tech: A nurse's aide who has received specialized training and is certified in patient care. Patient care techs assist with a patient's personal needs such as toileting, food and fluid intake, bathing, and walking. They also are trained to draw blood.

Therapists

  • Nutritionist/dietitian: A therapist who supervises the dietary needs of patients. They also teach patients and family members about nutritional needs. They may provide guidance to help children and families after they leave the hospital.
  • Occupational therapist (OT): A therapist who is involved in the diagnosis, evaluation, planning, and implementation of treatment in the area of functional ability, motor skills, sensory and visual development, coordination, and rehabilitation.
  • Physical therapist (PT): A therapist who is involved in the diagnosis, evaluation, planning, and implementation of treatment in the area of patient mobility, physical growth and development, and rehabilitation. Patients may see a PT after an injury or surgery, or due to a long hospitalization.
  • Respiratory therapist (RT): A therapist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of breathing and cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) issues. Frequently, the RT will manage and maintain high-tech equipment used to treat a patient with breathing difficulties.
  • Speech and language pathologist (SLP): A therapist who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation, planning, and implementation of treatment in the area of speech, language, hearing, and swallowing.

Additional team members

  • Child Life Specialist (CLS): Child Life Specialists specialize in the psychosocial, emotional, and developmental needs of children. They focus on the impact that illness, injury, and hospitalization has on parents and families. They help support children and families throughout the hospitalization. CLSs have either college or master’s degrees.
  • Pharmacist: Pharmacists specialize in the science of medicine, They work with the medical team to choose the best treatments. They provide medication to your child specialist in the science of drugs. Pharmacists work in hospitals, HMOs, and independent pharmacies. They dispense prescription drugs with MD, NP, PA, or dentist orders. Pharmacists have a degree in pharmacy.
  • Social worker: Social workers help families cope with the impact of illness or injury. They focus on the emotional well-being of children and their families. They are typically involved in counseling, family services, discharge planning, and social welfare issues. They also can help arrange financial and legal help, and can refer families to resources in their home community. Most social workers have a master’s degree (MSW).
  • Chaplain: Clergy men and women can specialize during their training in hospital chaplaincy. They typically focus on the spiritual and religious needs of patients and families in the hospital. They may also work in the community in hospice care and health ministry.
  • Health technician: There are a variety of technicians in the health care field. Technicians assist with tests and procedures such as MRIs, X-rays, or laboratory testing. They usually have a B.S. or one to two years of specialized training in an area of health care. Those technicians who hold a master’s degree are usually involved in supervision.
  • Support services: There are many support services and community health centers for CHaD patients and their families. These include environmental services such as maintenance and housekeeping, food services, transportation, medical record keeping, medical library services, and volunteer departments. Volunteers play an important role in all aspects of health care.