All the members of our team—physicians, nurses, therapists and other staff members—are committed to family-centered care. We welcome your participation and questions, and encourage you to partner with us in caring for your child.
Here are some definitions of the health care professionals your family may see, depending on your child’s medical issues—please check the GetWellNetwork for more team descriptions and details.
The attending physician is the doctor who will lead your child’s health care team, deciding on necessary tests and coordinating a treatment plan with other hospital staff.
A resident physician will also care for your child. Residents are physicians who have graduated from medical school and are receiving postgraduate training. Residents are directly responsible for the day-to-day care of patients, under the supervision of attending physicians. On duty 24 hours a day, residents are always available to answer questions concerning your child’s care.
Registered nurses provide your child’s daily care, and ensure your child’s comfort, safety and well being. Among many other duties, your child’s nurse assesses and monitors his or her condition, checks your child’s vital signs, administers medications, answers questions and provides patient and family education. More about nursing services.
Nurse practitioners have completed advanced training in specific areas of pediatrics and are supervised by physicians. Nurse practitioners help your child’s physician with physical examinations and procedures, and also conduct assessments and order medications and treatments.
Physical therapists (PTs) work with your child to help improve strength and endurance, and regain mobility so that your child may be safely discharged from the hospital. The goal is to help your child function independently at home, school and in the community.
Occupational therapists (OTs) work with your child on everyday activities such as dressing, feeding and participating in school and play activities. The OT also helps children progress toward age appropriate developmental milestones.
Speech-language pathologists work with children of all ages, including infants, who have difficulties in the areas of communication and feeding/ swallowing due to injury, illness or developmental delays. Speech- language pathologists can improve a child’s understanding of language, help a child speak clearly, and help a child better express wants and needs.
Respiratory therapists evaluate and treat children with breathing disorders. They manage therapy to help your child recover lung function. They are able to administer medications in aerosol form to assist with breathing problems and to help prevent respiratory infections.
Registered dietitians watch for changes in your child’s appetite and weight and take care of special nutrition needs for food allergies, medical diet prescriptions, tube/formula feedings and other conditions. Dietitians also provide nutritional counseling and education.
Licensed clinical social workers assist children and families with the stresses associated with illness and its impact on everyday life. These mental health professionals help families cope with difficult situations, such as medical crises and adjustment to illness; emotional and psychological distress; loss and bereavement; and abuse and domestic violence.
Certified child life specialists educate children about medical procedures, so your child knows what to expect. They also coordinate play, arts-and-crafts, and entertainment activities so that kids have opportunities for creativity, self-expression and fun. Certified child life specialists train and supervise child life student interns and volunteers who may engage and play with your child.
The hospital school teacher is an experienced professional, certified by the State of Rhode Island, who maintains contact with your child’s school and presents material children might miss during hospitalization. Our teacher may also communicate with your child’s home school regarding modifications he or she might require upon the child’s return to school, and may conduct group classes in the hospital and run computer and library programs.
Many others will contribute to your child’s stay, including the unit secretary, who assists with paperwork; the unit assistant, who may deliver your food tray or linens; the nutrition hospitality associate, who can help you and your child with menu selections; the housekeeper, who maintains a clean environment during your hospital stay, and the transporter, who will take you and your child for tests, procedures and other places you need to go in the hospital.
Under an instructor’s supervision, students from The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University and from schools for nursing, respiratory therapy, physical therapy and others may observe or help care for your child.
Hasbro Children's Hospital Welcome Guide