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If your child has an illness or injury requiring hospitalization at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, he or she may be cared for by a pediatric hospitalist.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin pediatric hospitalists are pediatricians who specialize in inpatient medicine, which is clinical care for hospitalized children. They communicate closely with your child’s primary care provider and other providers involved in your child’s care. If there is a significant change in your child’s condition, a pediatric hospitalist will update your child’s doctor. When your child leaves the hospital, a pediatric hospitalist will give your child’s doctor an overview of the hospital stay and detailed instructions for any necessary further care.
What type of training do pediatric hospitalists have?
Pediatric hospitalists are medical doctors who have had at least:
- Four years of medical school
- Three years of pediatric residency training
What types of treatments do pediatric hospitalists provide?
Pediatric hospitalists care for children with a wide variety of illnesses and medical needs who require hospital care. Pediatric hospitalists also often assist surgeons and subspecialty physicians in caring for hospitalized children.
Why isn’t my child’s primary care physician providing hospital care?
A pediatric hospitalist will care for your child for one of three reasons:
- Your child’s primary care provider is not near Milwaukee
- Your child’s primary care provider is near Milwaukee but is not on the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin medical staff
- Your child’s primary care provider is on the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin medical staff but has asked the Children's Hospital pediatric hospitalists to care for their patients who are hospitalized
Why are there so many doctors involved in my child’s care?
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is a training hospital, and the pediatric hospitalists work hard to provide excellent care for your child while at the same time teaching doctors-in-training to become pediatricians. The hospitalist team consists of the following members:
- The attending physician
This is the doctor who is in charge of your child’s care, and who leads the team of doctors-in-training
- The senior resident
This is a doctor who is nearing completion of his or her pediatric training and who is learning how to lead physician teams
- The interns
These are doctors who have graduated from medical school and are in their first year of training
- The medical students
These are students who are training to become doctors
You may also meet different providers between the night and the day. Pediatric hospitalists and residents provide 24/7 coverage for the hospital, and communicate to each other about your child’s medical care when they complete their shifts.
What are family-centered rounds?
Every day while your child is in the hospital, the health care team comes together to talk about your child’s health. This is called rounds. Families are encouraged to attend and take part. Rounds are held in your child’s room or in the hallway by your child’s room—the location depends on what you prefer. Rounds are held every day, usually sometime between 8:30 and 11:30, but times will vary. Rounds are an important opportunity for you and the medical team to update each other on your child’s progress and to make decisions regarding your child’s care.
Pediatric hospitalists — the best care for children
Pediatric hospitalists specialize in the care of children who are sick enough to require hospitalization, and are available in the hospital to provide ongoing assessments of your child’s medical status. Pediatric hospitalists can work with your child’s primary care provider and other specialists to care for your child in a way that is comfortable and reassuring for you and your child. If your child’s primary care provider suggests that your child receive care from a pediatric hospitalist, you can be assured that your child will receive high-quality care while in the hospital and the pediatric hospitalist will work closely with your child’s primary care provider to ensure appropriate follow-up or long-term care.
Pediatric hospitalists — clinicians and academicians
In addition to providing clinical care, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin pediatric hospitalists work for the Medical College of Wisconsin and are engaged in a variety of educational, research, advocacy, and quality improvement projects.
Portions of this page were adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics HealthyChildren.org website.