Children's Hospital Colorado

Who You’ll Meet: Your Child's Healthcare Team

Whether you come to Children’s Hospital Colorado for a routine outpatient visit or an inpatient hospital stay, your child might be seen by more than one doctor. You and your family may also meet a handful of other professionals who all have the same goal in mind: to give the best care for your child.

While the members of a care team differ from patient to patient, these descriptions will help you get to know the types team members you will meet during your visit or hospital stay.

Meet a few members of our healthcare team

During your time at any Children’s Colorado location, you will have access to a variety of pediatric experts.

Physicians (doctors)

  • Attending physicians are the doctors in charge of your child’s care.
  • Resident physicians have advanced training taking care of hospital patients. The resident reports to the attending about your child's progress every day.
  • Fellows are doctors who are done with their residency training and are doing extra training in a pediatric specialty.
  • Consulting physicians are experts in a specialty that can give more help on your child’s case.
  • Medical students are often part of a patient's care team because Children's Colorado is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Registered nurses (RNs)

The nurses at Children’s Colorado have special training in taking care of children and many have extra training in a pediatric specialty. They are an important part of your child's care team.

  • Clinical directors are the nurse managers or head nurses who supervise a unit. You may talk to them about any aspect of nursing care, hospital services or your child's comfort.
  • Charge nurses are the nurses who are on hand 24 hours a day and are in charge of making sure the unit runs smoothly. As well as your bedside nurse, the charge nurse helps take care of your child and is available each shift if you have any questions.
  • Primary nurses take care of your child. They are also in charge of planning and coordinating your child's care throughout their hospital stay.
  • Advanced practice nurses are registered nurses with additional education and clinical training in a specific area of healthcare. These nurses work in all parts of the hospital to do physical exams and procedures, order lab tests and teach parents about their child's medical care.

Other people you might meet during your visit

  • Nutritionists, such as registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, are nutrition experts who evaluate and change a patient's eating patterns. They work with family and medical staff to suggest dietary changes that will help with healing and prevent complications.
  • Occupational therapists build on skills learned in physical therapy. Patients use these skills to do tasks such as dressing, bathing and other age-appropriate activities.
  • Physical therapists help patients move independently by building strength and restoring function as much as possible.
  • Pediatric pharmacists are here 24 hours a day to make sure medicines are safe and helpful for patients. Our specially trained pharmacists work with doctors and other healthcare team members to find out the best medication routine for your child. They are experts on the most up-to-date scientific research and give advice on medications to doctors and families.
  • Respiratory care practitioners take care of patients with breathing problems.
  • Speech therapists take care of patients with speech and/or hearing problems as well as those with swallowing difficulties.
  • Child life specialists help children and families cope with the stress of a hospital stay and to meet other treatment goals by supporting play and other creative activities.

While this list is long, it doesn’t have every professional you’ll find at Children’s Colorado. You may also meet a number of other care experts, based on the type of care your child needs and which Children’s Colorado location you’ll be visiting.