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Visiting SickKids

Medical staff you might meet

Staff at SickKids are specially trained to work with children and families. When you get to the unit, you will meet some of the nurses who will look after your child. A nurse will ask you about your child's care, his or her habits, and the things that he or she likes and doesn't like.

Once your child is settled in his or her room, feel free to ask the nurse about how you can help with your child's care. You are an important part of your child's health-care team.

There is always one doctor responsible for the care of each patient. This doctor is the leader of your child's health-care team. Many health-care workers from different departments of the hospital work together on this team to care for your child. The team may include nurses, social workers, dietitians and medical students training to become doctors. These students are called fellows and residents. 
A nurse is a person trained to work with people to keep them healthy.  For example, nurses teach children and families about medical procedures, medications, and how to prevent injury and illness.  A nurse will also care for patients when they are ill. For example, nurses will ask questions about a child, take their temperature and blood pressure, and check their heart beat. They may also give medications and treat a patient in other ways to help the patient.

A clinical nurse specialist is a nurse who has extra education in a specialty area. He or she helps make a plan of care for a child and works with everyone to coordinate the activities and information a patient needs. The clinical nurse specialist works closely with families during their time in hospital and when they are planning to go home.

A nurse practitioner is a nurse who has extra education and has learned some ways to assess and treat patients with certain medical problems.  A nurse practitioner may make decisions about your child's treatment in partnership with the medical team caring for your child.

A responsible physician is the doctor in charge of directing and coordinating the medical care of a child admitted to the hospital.

A resident is a practising doctor who is taking more training in one special area of medicine.

A fellow is a practising doctor who has completed his or her training to be a resident and is now focusing on one special area of medicine. A fellow has more experience than a resident.