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Your Child’s Health Care Team

Healthcare TeamDuring your child’s stay, various care providers may be involved in your child’s care. The list below will help you identify them, as well as their roles and responsibilities.

Who You Will See

Registered Nurse (RN): Providers who closely monitor your child by performing frequent assessments and checking your child’s temperature and blood pressure. The nurse gives your child medications and helps to coordinate the care team. You will always have a nurse assigned to your child’s care, day and night.

Patient Care Associate (PCA): Providers who serve as an extra set of hands. They can answer call lights and help with baths and feeding. They are also able to perform basic vital signs, such as checking your child’s temperature.

Attending (MD): Doctors who supervise or lead a team of doctors. Physicians at this level have finished a residency program and can practice independently. They supervise and teach the residents, interns and medical students.

Who You May See

Resident/Intern (MD): Doctors who are in a residency program. Residency is a time when a doctor gets extra training in a specialty area, such as pediatrics, before become an attending physician. You may have several different residents with different levels of training check on your child.

Respiratory Therapist (RT or RCP): Providers who specialize in your child’s respiratory (breathing) needs by performing frequent assessments, providing treatment and providing education on breathing-related conditions.

Child Life Specialist (CCLS): Providers who work with children and families in the hospital to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness and disability.

Medical Student: Students learning to become a doctor. The medical students you meet will be in their third or fourth year of school.

Nurse Practitioner (NP): Nurses who have extra training that enables them to diagnose and treat patients and order medications under the supervision of an attending physician.

Social Worker (SW): Professionals who offer assistance and support services for patients and families, including grief counseling, crisis intervention or referrals for community resources.

Occupational Therapist (OT): Providers who help children with activities of daily living. They assist with tasks such as feeding, in both infants and children.

Physical Therapist (PT): Providers who help children with coordination and movement by using exercise and various techniques.

Dietitian: Professionals who specialize in food and nutrition. They advise families and children on making healthy lifestyle choices and how to maintain a balanced diet.

Clinical Pharmacist: Professionals who specialize in medication therapy management. They advise patients and other healthcare professionals on the best use of medications in and outside the hospital.

During your stay, you may encounter additional providers not listed above who will introduce themselves and explain their role in your child’s care.


Spiritual care is available for all patients and families at Rady Children’s whether you have a particular faith tradition or not. Chaplains are available to provide support and assist you with any spiritual needs that you have while you are in the Hospital. If you would like spiritual support during your time at Rady Children’s, please call extension 7493 from a Hospital phone or ask a member of our staff to contact a chaplain for you.


If you need an interpreter to better communicate with your child’s healthcare providers, please ask for assistance. Spanish-language interpreters are on site 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to midnight weekends and holidays. Telephone interpretation services for more than 150 different languages are available at any time. Sign language interpreters may be arranged with advanced notice, and TDD machines for the deaf are available at any time. To request at TDD device, please call the operator at extension 0.


Rady Children’s has Visiting Ambassadors in the patient care areas to provide support to families and patients. These volunteers have information about our parking, Café hours, library, community resources and Ronald McDonald House. You can expect a Visiting Ambassador to come visit you and your child within 48 hours of admission.