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Meet Your Healthcare Team | Overview

Boston Children’s Hospital is a teaching hospital, which means that doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who are in training may care for your child. Each staff person in training works under the supervision of a qualified senior professional staff person. We believe that all these staff members add to the quality of your child’s care.

Here are the different types of health care professionals you may encounter during your child’s hospital experience:

  • An attending physician is a senior medical doctor who directs your child’s care.
  • A fellow is a medical doctor in training who specializes in one area (for example, someone who is studying to be a cardiologist, a heart doctor).
  • A resident is a medical doctor who is training in pediatrics.
  • A nurse practitioner is a nurse with special training in diagnosing, treating, and caring for patients.
  • A staff nurse is the nurse who takes care of your child throughout the day and night. There is always a staff nurse responsible for your child’s nursing care.
  • A clinical assistant (CA) is a person trained to assist the staff nurse with patient care. A CA is usually responsible for things like weighing your child and taking her temperature.
  • A chaplain can bring spiritual companionship at a difficult time. We have chaplains from many different faiths on staff at Boston Children’s.
  • A social worker is a health care professional who helps families better cope with illness and hospitalization.
  • A Child Life specialist can enhance a child’s emotional, social, and cognitive growth during a hospital stay by using developmental interventions and play.
  • A patient care coordinator (PCC) is a nurse who follows your child’s care from before the admission to after discharge. This nurse will keep your insurance company informed of your child’s progress during hospitalization. In addition, she helps to arrange for any home care services your child may need.
  • A psychiatrist or psychologist is a doctor who works with parents and children to help them learn ways to manage and cope with feelings about being sick and being in the hospital.