Story by: Kim Huston on July 2, 2019
There are a lot of different roles that make up a child’s care team when he or she is in a children’s hospital. A child can see nurses, nurse practitioners and any number of physician specialists. You may know what a cardiologist, surgeon or orthopedic surgeon does — but do you know what a pediatric hospitalist does?
Pediatric hospitalists are specially trained pediatricians who care for children admitted to the hospital. Historically, a child’s pediatrician would split time traveling back and forth between the office and the hospital to monitor a child when he or she was in the hospital. This presented challenges for both the physician and hospital staff in coordinating the best care for a child.
Pediatric hospitalist practices evolved to address this issue in patient care. A pediatric hospitalist’s main responsibility is to care for and monitor children during the length of their hospital stay. Pediatric hospitalists practice only in the hospital, caring for children admitted to the medical and surgical care areas in the hospital. They also coordinate with a child’s primary care provider for follow-up care after a child is discharged from the hospital.
Pediatric hospitalists provide comprehensive, compassionate care for children
A pediatric hospitalist is the attending doctor, having completed a residency and additional specialized training in pediatric hospitalist medicine. Hospitalists supervise care of the patients, working with all of the subspecialty services a child may need during a hospital stay, such as pediatric orthopedic surgery or pediatric neurology. In addition, pediatric hospitalists take a broad view of patient care and help coordinate all aspects of your child’s care including medications, nutrition, home nursing care and complex social situations. This way, our pediatric hospitalists can help prevent complications, prevent unnecessary readmissions, provide immediate physician support to our inpatients and even help reduce the time a child is in the hospital.
At Norton Children’s Hospital, like many children’s hospitals across the country, we have pediatric hospitalists who provide comprehensive, compassionate care for children. Norton Children’s hospitalists work closely with you and your child’s pediatrician or health provider to help your family make decisions about your child’s care and to create a care plan for when your child leaves the hospital.