Circle of Care

Many medical professionals are involved in the care of your loved one in
each of our patient care units. Each has specific skills and plays an
important role throughout the recovery process. All of our specialists
work together as a team that focuses on coordination of quality care,
compassion for the patient, and support for the family.


Upon admission each patient is assigned a Primary Attending Physician and a
Resident Team. Because many of our attending physicians perform surgery
and see patients in the office, their schedules vary. This affects when
they can examine patients in the hospital. Resident Physicians and
Neurointensivists provide 24-hour care and report to the Attending the
patient’s status and any changes. The Attending “rounds” daily with the
NSICU team to discuss events and evaluate treatment changes that may
improve the patient’s outcome. We encourage families to maintain a
relationship with the Neurointensivist by scheduling appointments through
the Unit Coordinator.

Our neuroscience nurses are specially trained to care for neurological
patients. Nurses are assigned to one or two patients in order to provide a
constant, high level of care. Shift changes occur between 7:00 and 8:00 am
and again between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. We ask that the family spokesperson limit
calling during these times so that transition of care can occur without


Physician (Attending): diagnoses illness, develops a treatment plan and
directs the patient care team.

Physician (Resident): under direction of the Attending, provides
in-hospital 24-hour care, orders tests, examines the patients, performs
procedures and prescribes medications.

Neurointensivist: an Attending Physician who specializes in caring
for critically ill patients and manages the ICU; responsible for all
patient care in the ICU.

Nurse Practitioner (NP): a nurse with advanced training who diagnoses and treats
illnesses, orders and interprets diagnostic tests and prescribes

Registered Nurse (RN): assesses the patient’s physical state, gives
medication and keeps family informed of tests and procedures.

Patient Care Assistant (PCA): works directly with the RN to help patients
with bathing, walking and eating.

Respiratory Therapist: provides treatments to help the patient breath
better and recover from anesthesia.

Pharmacist: monitors patient medications to improve outcomes (manages blood
pressure and sedation).

Physiatrist: a physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) doctor who
directs the rehabilitation team.

Physical & Occupational Therapist (PT & OT): assesses physical skills,
designs exercises to strengthen muscles and instructs how to use adaptive
equipment (wheelchair, braces).

Speech Pathologist: provides therapy for language, swallowing, cognition or
memory problems.

Nutritionist: assists with dietary selection and intake.

Social Worker: provides support to patients and families, develops a
discharge plan and provides referrals to community resources.

Pastoral Care: provides spiritual ministry and family counseling.

Health Unit Coordinator (HUC): answers the phone, schedules appointments
and processes unit needs.

Environmental Service: provides a clean environment for healing.

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