The entire staff of Bethesda North Hospital works as a team to provide you the best medical care and keep you comfortable during your stay. You are a very important part of your health care team. A variety of caregivers also are members of your health care team. Here are some descriptions of the basic job functions of caregivers at Bethesda North Hospital.
A care coordinator is a registered nurse who works with you, your family and your physician to assist in arranging needed services at the time of discharge. This may include nurse visits, physical therapy or obtaining medical equipment, such as a walker or wheelchair. The care coordinator also communicates with your insurance company.
A chaplain is available to provide spiritual support and care to you and your family during your hospitalization. Chaplains offer religious services, sacramental ministry, pastoral care and grief support. Chaplains also are available to speak with patients and family members concerning ethical aspects of patient care and issues related to end-of-life decision-making.
The dietitian assists the primary care physician with your nutritional management.
A hospitalist is a physician who may be assigned to you by your primary care physician (PCP) or by the Emergency Department physician if you do not have a PCP. The hospitalist will care for you from admission to discharge and will keep in touch with your PCP if you have one.
If you are disabled by physical illness or serious accident, an occupational therapist (OT) will help you relearn muscular control and cope with everyday tasks. The OT will perform an evaluation based on a physician’s referral to identify functional limitations. Individual treatment plans and goals are set up by the therapist based on your function and needs. The therapist changes the program as your condition changes. In addition, the therapist will educate you and your family as to what should be done once you leave the hospital.
An orderly/transporter will take you to and from nursing units to other areas of the hospital, such as Radiology, MRI or Therapy, and assists with your discharge.
The patient care assistant (PCA) provides assistance and performs basic activities of daily living and specified treatments and procedures as delegated and supervised by a registered nurse.
A patient representative is your advocate to discuss your rights and responsibilities, answer questions regarding advance directives, facilitate communication and assist in resolving any concerns or special needs you may have during your hospitalization.
A phlebotomist is a technician who draws blood for various laboratory tests ordered by the physician.
A physical therapist (PT) evaluates your physical abilities and develops a treatment plan based on an assessment and your physician’s orders. Therapists treat you with physical activity, hands-on therapy and other treatments to improve function and quality of life. They also provide training and education for you and your family on how to assist and/or care for you at home.
The radiologic technologist provides imaging services in X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, mammography, nuclear medicine, special procedures and cardiac catheterization.
Residents are physicians studying a specialty and may be part of your care team. Residents are skilled medical team members who are devoted to learning about diseases and the processes of care for those diseases.
A respiratory therapist provides specialized care as prescribed by a physician to help you breathe better.
A social worker works closely with your health care team by helping you adjust to the illness or accident that brought you to the hospital. Social workers provide help with issues such as chemical dependency, financial need, family issues, mental health needs, domestic violence, legal issues, etc. They also have contacts to community services.
A speech-language pathologist (SLP) performs an evaluation for treatment of communication, awareness and swallowing disorders due to a developmental or acquired disorder. Treatment plans are developed and revised based on your initial evaluation. The SLP carries out the treatment plan, trains you and your family and makes appropriate recommendations.
A staff RN (registered nurse) provides direct and indirect care to you, such as ongoing assessment, coordinating and administering care, and patient education. Nurses work closely with your physicians and other health care team members in meeting your needs. They also may direct certain types of care to those under their supervision, such as a patient care assistant.
Student nurses from local nursing programs participate in clinical rotations in many areas of the hospital. Student nurses work closely with a nurse on the unit and under the supervision of a clinical instructor to assist with the care of assigned patients.
The unit coordinator is the clerical person on a nursing unit or other patient care area who performs receptionist and clerical duties. One of the primary responsibilities of this position is answering your call light and relaying your needs to the appropriate nursing staff.