Your Care Team
Children’s Health℠ is one of the nation's premier pediatric hospitals and it is our care team that makes that happen.
We are the primary pediatric teaching facility for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas. This means your child may be seen by more than one doctor, but it also means you are receiving the best care. We are the only academic healthcare facility in North Texas dedicated exclusively to the comprehensive care of children from birth to age 18.
During your visit, many different specialists may be involved in your child’s care. The following descriptions should offer a helpful overview of the experts you might meet:
Your Child’s Physicians
Attending physician is the physician in charge of your child's care. Your child will always have an attending physician assigned.
Consulting physician is a physician with skill in a particular area. She may be asked to offer added advice on your child’s care.
Fellow is a physician who has advanced from resident physician. A fellow is, at this time, carrying out extra training in a particular medical specialty.
Medical students are doctors in training. Because Children’s is a teaching hospital, medical students often participate in a patient’s care team to learn from other physicians.
Resident physician is a physician completing advanced “doctor” training. The resident physician reports to the attending physician, and updates him every day about your child's progress.
Registered Nurses (RNs) Trained to Care for Children
The nurses at Children’s all have special training in the care of children. Many are also trained in a specific pediatric specialty. They are an important part of your child’s care team.
Advanced practice nurses / nurse practitioners and physician assistants are providers with additional education and clinical training in a specific area. These providers
- Perform physical exams and procedures
- Prescribe medications
- Order lab tests
- Educate families on specifics about your child's care
There may be times when your child will have a clinic appointment with an advanced practice nurse or physician assistant instead of a doctor.
Clinical director / nurse manager is the head nurse who supervises the hospital unit or clinic. You can talk about anything from the care you are receiving to hospital services or your child's comfort with a clinical director or nurse manager.
Care coordinators / care managers are those who, in addition to the nurse assigned to you, help with the care of your child and are available if you have any questions.
Primary nurse is the nurse assigned to your child. This nurse is responsible for coordinating your child’s care.
In the hospital
- A nurse will always be assigned to your child. Nurses work 8 to 10 hour “shifts” each day. When your child’s nurse ends her workday, a new nurse will be assigned to you.
- When a new nurse starts his workday, he will come into your child’s room and introduce himself.
- Nurses in the hospital make sure your child is comfortable, give medications and can help explain “what to expect” while in the hospital and upon being discharged.
In the clinics (Ambulatory Care Pavilion or Specialty Centers)
- Nurses who work in the hospital are not the same nurses who work in the clinics. Therefore, your child will have a different nurse when he comes into the clinic for a doctor’s appointment.
- When being seen at one of the clinics, a nurse or team of nurses will be assigned to your child based on the doctor she is seeing.
- Nurses in the clinic help with prescription refills, give shots, take blood, assist the physician and can help explain “what to expect” while at the clinic and what to do when you go home.
Anesthesiologists with Extra Training to Help Children
Anesthesiologists are the doctors who care for patients when they are “asleep” for surgery. Anesthesia is used so your child will not feel pain or be aware during an operation. Pediatric anesthesiologists have extra training to provide anesthesia for children. Your pediatric anesthesiologist manages your child’s anesthesia so that he will not feel pain or be aware during the operation, and so that she will recover appropriately after the operation. Your pediatric anesthesiologist may have a team taking care of your child that could include
- Anesthesia assistants
- Nurse anesthetists
- Anesthesia residents
- Anesthesia fellows
The pediatric anesthesiologist will meet with you prior to an operation and monitor your child throughout the surgery, managing your child’s anesthesia from the preoperative area through recovery.
Other Members of Your Care Team
Child Life specialists help children and families cope with the stress of hospitalization, medical procedures or tests during hospitalization. They also help make the hospital feel less frightening for your child by providing play opportunities in playrooms or at the bedside. A Child Life specialist can assist your child with
- Understanding a new diagnosis
- Any difficulty coping with the hospital environment, and preparing your child for surgery or other medical procedures
- Providing medical play activities.
Please ask a nurse or the front desk clerk to page Child Life during your hospital stay.
Family services can help ensure you get the most out of your visit to Children’s Medical Center. Social Work, Child Life, and Pastoral Care are all available family services. Your care team can point you in the right direction for specific assistance. Anyone can also individually get in touch with any service.
Financial counselors can walk you through the steps to get third party coverage for patients whose guardians/guarantors are unable to pay their medical bill at Children’s Medical Center. In addition, financial counselors meet with all transplant patients’ families.
Guest relations representatives are caring professionals who advocate on behalf of the patient/family. They work to improve patient satisfaction and join together with staff to promote service excellence. Talk to Guest Relations when you
- Have feedback about your hospital experience
- Need help communicating with appropriate hospital staff
- Have questions regarding your rights and responsibilities
Concierge personnel provide patients and families with information and directions to get around the hospital and clinics. Concierge personnel are available at each of the main doors of the hospital or by phone at the CARE Line 214-456-2273. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (After hours and on weekends, ask to speak to the administrative supervisor).
- Walk you, your child, your family and guests to places within Children’s
- Help get a wheelchair or wagon for your child
- Deliver flowers or gifts to patients
- Give badges to families and guests
- Provide general hospital information
Medical technologists and medical laboratory technicians provide information to the care team by testing blood or other body fluids that help to diagnose a patient’s condition. These tests can also tell how a patient is responding to different medications or treatments. About 98% of the tests are processed internally in our own laboratory. However, some specialized procedures are done by outside reference laboratories and have a turn-around time that may vary from one to 10 days.
Occupational therapists help teach patients regular day-to-day actions such as getting dressed and taking a bath. The therapists help the patients develop life-functions that a child of a similar age and ability would have.
Patient access representatives (PARs) and senior patient access representatives (SPARs) educate families about different types of managed care and/or health insurance plans. They can also help families navigate health insurance.
Pastoral Care chaplains offer spiritual guidance, emotional support, hope and compassion. Call 214-456-2822 or 214-456-2159. In Plano, call 469-303-2822. You can also ask the operator to page the chaplain.
Phlebotomists at Children’s are specially trained to draw blood from children. There are three ways to draw blood: venipuncture (using a needle and vein), finger stick (when only a small amount of blood is needed), or heel stick (for infants only). We understand that drawing blood can be a scary process for children. Therefore, your child will receive special attention from our staff who are skilled in the art of pediatric phlebotomy.
Physical therapists help raise activity levels, build strength and bring back function as much as possible. They always take the specific conditions of each patient into account.
Radiology technologists perform imaging exams when needed. There are many types of imaging exams: X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear scans, etc. Radiology technologists are licensed and certified for the type of imaging they perform. The patient might be asked to wear a special gown and hold very still during the procedure. The technologists will explain and help your child through their exam. Imaging is an important tool in assisting your physician with diagnosis and treatment during your visit.
Registered Dietitians / dietetic technicians are experts on diet and nutrition. They are sometimes called “nutritionists,” but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. Dietitians apply their expertise to treat and prevent disease. They work with you and your child to understand the effects various nutrients have on your child’s health. They work with you and the care team to suggest therapeutic meal plans, tube feedings, or IV nutrition to improve health outcomes, speed up recovery time and prevent disease. They also participate in and conduct research.
Respiratory care practitioners help with breathing problems. Lung problems they will help treat are those caused by ongoing diseases, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis that become serious enough for an emergency room visit or hospital admission. Other lung problems they will help with may be caused by infections or as a result of heart problems, muscle problems or when kids inhale a foreign object and it gets caught in an airway.
In the intensive care units they manage all breathing machines. These ventilate the lungs when the patient isn’t ready to breathe on his own due to surgery, serious illness or injury. They teach asthma classes and cardio-pulmonary classes to families who have children in the hospital.
Besides working in the hospital, they are part of the transport team who take care of children in the helicopter, jet and ambulances. They also work in the operating rooms, clinics, radiology and the cardiac catheterization lab.
School services helps your child with her educational needs. When a child’s life is interrupted by an illness or hospital stay it can impact his academic progress and attendance. It is important that there be continued communication with your child’s school during this period. The teachers in School Services can act as a liaison between your child’s medical team and your child’s school. School Services offers the following assistance to help your child while in the hospital as well as when she returns home
- Consult services to assess school needs
- Individualized Education Plan ( IEP)
- 504 Plan
- Tutoring in the hospital
- Open classroom hours in the hospital
- Psychiatry School Program
If you need school assistance or have questions, please call the School Referral Line at the main hospital at 214-456-7733. In Plano, the number is 469-303-7733. In Dallas, we are located in the main building of the hospital, 7th floor, Room C7315. At Legacy, we are located in the main building of the hospital, Lobby Level, Room L1274.
Social workers can help if you are concerned about being able to care for your child due to a lack of time, money or expertise. Social workers locate resources so that you can concentrate on your child and her treatment. Please ask someone at Children’s if you need a social worker during a visit. You can phone 214-456-2300, or fax to 214-456-2847. We are located in the L level of the main hospital. The room number is DL220.
Speech therapists assist with speech or hearing problems. They also treat patients with swallowing disorders.
Family Resource Librarians Can Help You Find Information
Family Resource librarians help staff, families, and patients find medical and health information by utilizing the Internet, health and medical databases and books, and other resources in the hospital and the community.
Families, patients, and staff also may borrow books for all ages from our leisure reading collections.
Librarians are available in the library located at:
Krissi Holman Family Resource Library & Children's Collection
- Location: C7310
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.; Friday, 8 to 11 a.m. Weekend hours depend on volunteer availability. Please call ahead to make sure someone is available.
Ambulatory Care Pavilion Family Resource Library
- Location: F1504
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Pavilion Family Resource Center includes the Teen Center, a place for adolescent patients and siblings to gather information specifically geared toward their interests and issues.
Please note that many of the library's resources are available during all Pavilion operating hours, not just when the librarian is available.
Tower Family Resource Library
- Location: DL200
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Plano Ambulatory Care Pavilion Family Resource Center
- Location: P1228
Hours: Monday through Friday. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call the library to make sure someone is available.
Plano Hospital Karahan Family Resource Center
- Location: L1275
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Help with some of the library's resources on Wednesdays depends on volunteer availability. Please call ahead to make sure someone is present.
Language Access Services Provides Spanish Interpreters
Language access services has a staff of Spanish interpreters available for interpretation in all areas of the hospital, 24 hour a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. An interpreter can be requested by a member of your care team.
The request should be made at least 48 hours in advance, whenever possible, in these cases
- When a Spanish-speaking patient family will need longer than one hour
- When the location for the appointment being at another location (for example, at the Chase Building or a satellite clinic)
- When the language spoken by the patient's family is a language other than Spanish (including ASL)
Information needed to request an interpreter is:
- Date and time interpreter is needed
- Length of time needed
- Language needed
- Location for appointment
- Contact name and phone number at location
- Patient name and medical record number
Pediatric Pharmacists are Available 24/7
Pediatric pharmacists are available 24 hours a day to ensure medication is both given and used safely and effectively. The pharmacists work with your child’s care team to determine the best medication and monitoring plan. They are experts on the most up-to-date scientific research. They provide advice on medications to physicians, families and patients.
Fax: 214- 456-2698
First pharmacy (Pavilion)
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fax: 214- 456-0462
Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Fax: 214- 456-9284