In the hospital, your child is cared for by a staff trained to meet the special needs of children and their families. Our philosophy is to care for the whole child, including their physical, emotional, developmental and social needs. The following types of providers are part of the hospital team.
Your Child's Care Team
Your child's doctor, also called an attending physician, is responsible for managing your child's care. If necessary, your child's doctor may consult with other specialists regarding care. Since UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals is a teaching institution, your child may also be seen by fellows, residents and medical students who work with your child's doctor.
Attending physicians direct and supervise your child's medical care. Attending physicians also teach other doctors to care for children. Your child will be assigned an attending physician. These assignments change periodically, so please ask your nurse or doctor about the scheduled rotation of attending physicians on your child's unit.
Fellows are physicians who have completed their residency training and are receiving advanced training in a subspecialty. Fellows work with an attending physician to provide care and to help teach interns and residents.
Residents and interns are physicians completing training in a specialty. In our children's hospitals, that specialty is pediatrics. They provide care under the guidance of attending physicians and fellows.
All of our nurses have received special training in caring for children.
Charge nurses oversee the nursing care on your child's unit during a shift.
Clinical nurse specialists are registered nurses with advanced education in special areas. These nurses help coordinate your child's care and can teach you special skills to care for your child.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education in special areas. These nurses have training and skills in assessment, physical diagnosis and managing health needs in their specialty areas.
Patient care managers supervise all nursing care on every shift on your child's unit.
Patient care assistants help nurses care for your child. They provide routine care under the supervision of a nurse, but are unable to give medications.
Patient support assistants help units stay clean and equipped.
Unit coordinators provide clerical support, directions and answer questions for families and visitors.
Other team members
Child life specialists provide activities and support to minimize children's stress and to help meet their developmental, social and emotional needs while in the hospital.
Child life teachers are certified teachers who provide academic assistance to school-age kids and teens in the hospital.
Interpreters provide patients and their families, as well as the health care team, with interpreter services for all languages, including sign language. If you need an interpreter, please tell your child's nurse.
Lactation specialists help mothers and babies breastfeed. If you have breastfeeding questions or concerns, please ask your child's nurse about a consultation with a lactation specialist.
Nutritionists offer nutrition counseling to help your child grow and heal. If you'd like to consult with a nutritionist, please ask your child's nurse.
Pharmacists fill prescriptions ordered by the doctor and provide important information about your child's medications.
Radiology technologists perform X-rays, ultrasounds, CAT scans, MRI scans and other tests to help the health care team treat your child.
Social workers provide counseling, information and referrals to community services.
Spiritual care staff provide comfort and spiritual or religious support to patients and families.
Occupational, physical, respiratory and speech therapists provide exercises and other interventions to improve patients' ability to move, breathe, speak and eat and to perform other everyday activities.
Your child's hospital stay