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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

"Who's Who" Dictionary of Hospital Personnel

Throughout the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, you will find staff members who are specially trained to work with children and their families. Listed below are some of the many people who may be involved in your child's care.


Attending Physicians are fully trained childhood disease specialists who are responsible for your child's care during a hospitalization. They will direct your child's care and supervise the residents, interns, and medical students who are also caring for your child.

Consulting Physicians are physicians with an area of expertise who may be asked by your child's attending physician to help diagnose and treat your child.

Fellows are physicians who have finished their residency and are now training in a special field of medicine.

Residents are physicians in their second or third year of training after medical school graduation. There will be a resident assigned to care for your child during your child's hospitalization.

Interns are physicians in the first year of training after graduating from medical school. An intern will be assigned to your child's care with a senior resident.

Other Care Team Members

Case Managers are registered nurses who coordinate the many services your child may need for his or her hospitalization and discharge.

Chaplains help children and families find meaning and support in their circumstances. A chaplain is available for pastoral visitation and/or sacramental ministry, as well as to help you contact a representative from your faith group. Chaplains are available 24 hours a day.

Child Life Specialists use their knowledge of child development, play, stress and coping, and family systems as the basis to help reduce the stress and anxiety that many children experience in hospital and healthcare settings. They focus on the needs of the entire family by also providing support to parents and siblings.

Dieticians are licensed, registered food and nutrition experts who work with families and children with complex nutrition needs. Registered dietetic technicians also work with families and children with less complex nutrition needs.

Family Advocates work to improve the communication between the family and the hospital staff, as well as to assure your child's hospital stay goes well.

Medical Students are in their third or fourth year of training to become physicians. They work closely with the medical team of physicians.

Nurses are responsible for making assessments of your child's condition and supervising your child's care while on the unit.

Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses with a master's degree and a specialization.

Occupational Therapists provide therapy to children facing any challenges that affect socialization, their daily activities at home, and school performance. Occupational therapy may be performed either in your child's room or in a treatment room.

Patient Care Managers (PCMs) are registered nurses who supervise a nursing unit.

Patient Service Assistants (PSAs) transport patients and assist nurses in meeting patients' personal needs.

Patient Service Coordinators (PSCs), often called the "unit secretaries," answer phone calls to the hospital unit and respond when you or your child press the "call" button in the room.

Phlebotomists draw blood from your child for various medical tests.

Physical Therapists help patients regain muscle strength through specially designed exercises. Physical therapy may be performed either in your child's room or in a treatment room.

Respiratory Therapists provide special care to children who have difficulty breathing.

Social Workers are licensed counselors who may also help children and families by connecting them with needed community resources.

Speech Therapists work with children who have difficulty talking or making certain sounds. Speech therapists also work with children who have difficulty swallowing.

Stockers make sure your child's room has all the necessary nurse's supplies.

Teachers are available to children who miss 10 or more days of school during the entire school year. Besides helping children keep up with their school work, a teacher will give them a needed routine that helps children feel they are keeping up with their peers. All teachers are licensed by the state of Illinois.

Volunteers work throughout the hospital to engage children in play activities at the bedside or in the playroom. Their goal is to help make the hospital stay a little easier for the entire family. Note: Volunteers do not take the place of trained medical staff at the University of Chicago.