If your child ever needs to stay in the hospital, learning your way around can be a challenge. Your child's hospital team may include many health care providers - doctors, nurses, therapists, and others. At a teaching hospital, medical students and other providers in training may be involved too.

Understanding "who's who" in the hospital means learning some new names and terms. For example, you may be dealing with: You may also see:
An attending physician*Nurses
A medical resident*Social workers
A medical fellow*Occupational therapists (OTs)
A medical student*Physical therapists (PTs)
Child life specialists
Phlebotomists
Respiratory therapists

* All of these people may be called "doctors."

Learn more about different types of providers in the Health Care Providers by Specialty table. Look in the Glossary for information about specific providers.

Tip: Hospital stays are very anxious times and it's hard to remember everyone. When a new doctor, other provider, or "team" of providers comes to see your child in the hospital, ask them their name and role. Write down names - or ask for a business card.


This information is provided by the Division of Perinatal, Early Childhood, and Special Health Needs within the Department of Public Health.