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Who is Who in the Hospital

Who is Who in the Hospital

It can be very daunting when you are faced with going into hospital for a routine operation let alone when it is an emergency admission, you may not know who is who so, a list has been compiled which will clarify who does what. In each hospital the colour of the uniforms can differ, and some staff don’t wear a uniform at all.

The list includes everyone that you might come into contact with during your stay, you may not come into contact with all of them. Everyone in the healthcare teams should as good practice wear a name badge detailing their name and who they are. Often the name badges have photographs too which ensure the person who is wearing the badge is who they say they are.

  • Anaesthetist - These are the doctors who administer anaesthetics so that you remain asleep or drowsy throughout your operation. The anaesthetist makes sure you’re breathing comfortably during the operation and are pain free.
  • Associate specialists/ Specialist registrars and staff grades are experienced senior doctors who are responsible to a specific consultant. They often run their own clinics and make clinical decisions.
  • Auxiliary nurse/ Nursing assistants – These staff will probably help you with most of your needs under the supervision of a trained member of staff

  • Clinical site managers (CSMs) are senior nurses who manage the hospital beds and are the senior hospital managers on site during evenings, nights and weekends.

  • Consultants - Every patient has a named consultant who visits the ward regularly. They are the most experienced doctors in the hospital, and ultimately be responsible for the treatment you receive. The consultant responsible for you may change depending on your diagnosis. This is because consultants often have specialised areas of expertise.

  • Dietician - A dietician provides advice on all aspects of eating and diet, including special diets for medical condition.

  • Domestic assistants and ward housekeepers - provide drinks and food for patients, and keep the ward clean and tidy.

  • Gastroenterologists - A medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, the stomach, and the intestines

  • Haematologist - A doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating blood disorders.

  • Hearing Therapists - A specialist who assists with communication, counselling and hearing aids
  • House officers - These are foundation year one doctors who you will see most of the time on the wards they carry out tests and prescribe treatment under the direct instructions of your consultant.

  • Matrons - These are very experienced senior nurses who have the responsibility of making sure that the wards are running smoothly and are kept clean. They are a good resource for information about your care and are there to support you.

  • Midwife – Midwives are responsible for providing midwifery care to mothers and babies for the duration of their pregnancy.
  • Nurse/Staff nurse/or Senior staff nurse – these nurses plan your specific care and implement it according to medical instructions

  • Nurse specialists – These nurses have a specialist expertise in topics such as pain relief, wound care and diabetes, they offer advice and support.

  • Neurologist -A doctor who diagnoses and treats disorders of the nervous system

  • Occupational therapist - assesses and plans your treatment with a view to helping you manage daily activities on your return home. This may include providing adaptations at your home, to help you live independently.

  • Oncologist - A doctor who specialises in cancer care and treatment

  • Ophthalmologist – A Doctor who specialises in diagnosis and treatment of refractive, medical and surgical problems related to eye diseases and disorders.

  • Obstetrician- a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and childbirth

  • Otologist - A doctor who specializes in medical and surgical treatments for ear diseases

  • Paediatrician - A doctor who specialises in treating children

  • Pain management Team - these teams are led by a consultant Anaesthetist who specialises in pain relief.

  • Phlebotomist – These staff take blood from patients for analysis

  • Physiotherapist - These staff help you with evaluating your physical abilities providing assistance with breathing and mobility.

  • Play therapists -The play therapist keeps children occupied, and by using toys and games helps them understand the tests and treatment they will be having.

  • Porters - help with moving patients and equipment around the hospital

  • Radiographer - The radiographer takes scans and  X-rays, this can sometimes be done on the ward

  • Registrars – These are senior doctors who carry out specialist care under the consultants instructions

  • Senior House officers (SHO’S) These are doctors you will see most days on the ward they work in theatres as well during their training.

  • Social worker - A professional who is trained to talk with patients and with their families regarding emotional or physical needs, and to find them support services.

  • Speech Therapist – These are people who can help you with any problems you may have with talking, eating and drinking.

  • Student Nurse - Nurses who are in  training

  • Ward clerk - provide administrative and clerical support to the ward, and help with your benefit queries.

  • Ward Sister (female) or Charge Nurse (Male) The senior nurse who is in charge of the ward and who co-ordinates the nurses working on it.

In a proportion of the countries hospitals there are training hospitals where a variety of staff are being trained these can consist of:-

  • Student nurses or student midwives - These nurses will carry out certain duties under the supervision of a qualified member of nursing staff.

  • Medical students – These members of staff will accompany doctors and consultants on their ward rounds and in their clinics. You may well be asked if they can examine you or talk to you regarding you symptoms.

If you do not wish a student to be involved with your care you must make your feelings known to a member of the team.

There should be a doctor on the ward between 9-5 but they do have other commitments such as outpatient clinics and theatre duties, and therefore are not always present. If you wish to speak to one of the team of doctors looking after you ask one of the nurses to arrange it for you.

If a member of your family wishes to speak to the doctor it will need to be at a pre-arranged time, with your agreement. 

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