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Partnering with Us

Your Child's Health Team


Team of Health Professionals

Kids love a visit from Marv the Milkman!

Kids love a visit from Marv the Milkman!

For almost 100 years, we've been treating only children.

As part of the care team for your child, your insight about your child and input about your child's care are important. Our staff is trained in specific areas of healthcare and in how to care for children.

Seattle Children's is a teaching hospital. Your child will receive care from a team that may include several doctors and staff members.

Don't hesitate to ask any of them, including doctors and nurses, to identify themselves and to explain their role in your child's care.

Attending Doctor

An attending doctor is your child's main doctor during a clinic visit or hospital stay. The attending doctor leads the team in developing your child's treatment plan.

Residents and Fellows

Residents and fellows are licensed doctors who are in training in pediatrics. These doctors will have the most contact with your child. They give daily orders for care and update the attending doctor(s) about your child's progress.

Primary Care Provider

This is the medical professional who referred your child to Children's.


Registered nurses (RNs)

RNs care for children staying in the hospital. The RN is your main contact with other members of your child's healthcare team.

Your nurse will provide much of your child’s day-to-day care. The nurse will also teach you and your child about your child's care.

If you have questions about your child's care, you can ask the RN, the attending doctor or the fellow.

Sometimes RNs work with nursing assistants, medical assistants, or other care providers to plan and coordinate each patient's care.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and nurse practitioners (ARNPs)

CNSs and ARNPs are registered nurses with advanced education and training. They oversee clinical practice and make discharge plans.

They often coordinate care for complex medical conditions, consult with other nurses and teach family members about the child's care needs.

Nurse managers and charge nurses

Nurse managers run the patient care unit 24 hours a day. Charge nurses manage each shift and coordinate care during that shift.

Together they make sure that each child and family receives the care they need.

If you have questions or concerns that your nurse cannot resolve, you can direct them to the charge nurse or nurse manager.

Other Healthcare Providers

Your child's health team may include other consulting doctors; physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapists; child life specialists; a care coordinator; nursing and medical students; and other healthcare providers.


Chaplains are available 24 hours a day at Children’s Hospital to provide confidential care to patients and families from diverse cultures and faiths. They can also help you find clergy of your faith or denomination.

Learn more about Pastoral and Spiritual Care services.

Child life specialists

Child life specialists focus on your child’s emotional and developmental needs. They help reduce the stress of a hospital stay. They assist patients and families to cope with the hospital experience.

They also provide information about play, child development and adjustment to illness.

Learn more about Child Life services.


Dietitians help ensure that patients get the nutrition they need for growth and development while in the hospital and after discharge.

Family service representatives (FSRs) and family service coordinators (FSCs)

FSRs and FSCs provide help to both staff and families in the Emergency Department and clinic areas. Unit coordinators (UCs) are at the front desk of all inpatient units. They provide assistance to both staff and families.

They help make appointments or coordinate procedures, request tests, route phone calls and help families with access to resources and staff.

Medical students

Medical students are studying at University of Washington to become doctors. They receive instruction in pediatric specialty care at Children's. Attending doctors supervise medical students.

Medical students may be at your child's clinic visit or take part in rounds with residents or the attending doctor when your child stays in the hospital.

Occupational therapists (OTs)

OTs evaluate and treat oral motor, fine motor and visual motor dysfunction. They provide functional training in self-care, home living skills and community reintegration.

They also provide custom and commercial splints and positioning devices as well as consultation for infants and children with feeding problems.

Pain medicine team members

Pain medicine team members work with your child’s main healthcare team to help control any pain your child may have. They use many types of pain control — both drug-based and non-drug options.

If you think your child needs help with pain, tell your child’s doctor or nurse.

Learn more about our Pain Medicine Program.

Pediatric Advanced Care Team

The Pediatric Advanced Care Team (Palliative Care) offers consultation about the care of children with potentially life-limiting conditions. Our team includes a doctor, nurse and social worker who consult with the child's care team and parents.

The Pediatric Advanced Care Team addresses the physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs of children and their families.

Learn more about our Pediatric Advanced Care Team.


Pharmacists prepare medicine prescribed by doctors. They can also tell you about a medicine's purpose, effectiveness and side effects.

Children's Pharmacy fills prescriptions for its clinics, emergency room and patient discharges.

Learn more about the hospital pharmacy.

Physical therapists (PTs)

PTs provide therapy for difficulty with gross motor skills, balance, coordination, mobility and developmental motor skills.

Respiratory therapists (RTs)

RTs evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. They also educate parents about pulmonary medications and equipment, and prepare and support home respiratory support therapies.

Social workers

Social workers are skilled counselors who work with families to provide emotional support and get the resources they need. This includes help paying for food, getting transportation and getting housing. They can help you plan for and find the things you will need before and after a hospital stay.

Learn more about social work at Children’s.


Our Education Department has certified teachers and assistants who can assess your child’s learning needs and provide instruction.

These services are offered at no charge to children who are staying in the hospital and are likely to miss at least one week of school, as well as to patients staying at Ronald McDonald House. They make it easier for your child to return to school after leaving the hospital.


Our volunteers work in more than 70 departments at Children’s. You can tell who they are by their blue smocks. You'll see them at the Family Resource Center, at information desks, in infant units holding babies, in the Playroom and throughout the hospital bringing books and toys to patients.

Learn more about how to become a volunteer at Children’s.

Spring 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Cold Water Shock Can Quickly Cause Drowning
  • E-Cigs Are Addictive and Harmful
  • Bystanders Can Intervene to Stop Bullying

Download Spring 2014 (PDF)

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