Hospital Care Team
If your care requires a stay at one of our Lehigh Valley Hospital campuses, you’ll see many caregivers and support staff in the hospital. Below, meet the members of our inpatient team who could play a role in helping you.
Hospitalist: If you are age 13 or older and are admitted to Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg or Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton, you’re cared for by hospitalists — the internal medicine physicians and physician assistants who work only in the hospital. They collaborate with your referring family physician or specialist to ensure you receive the most appropriate care. Hospitalists provide round-the-clock care to hospitalized patients. Hospitalist physician teams work in the hospital for the entire week, so they can follow you throughout your entire hospital stay. You could be seen by a number of hospitalists during a given week. But the same level of care is consistent throughout. The hospitalist team is focused on healing, comforting and caring for you.
Certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP): A certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP) is an independent licensed health care professional who works as part of a team with other physicians. Nurse practitioners diagnose, treat, order and interpret labs and diagnostics, and prescribe any medications you may need.
Physician assistant: A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a doctor. He or she can perform routine exams, order lab work and X-rays, prescribe medicines and counsel people about their health, all under the supervision of a physician.
Registered nurse (RN): Think of nurses as your advocates. They are a key part of your care team while you are in the hospital. LVH-CC and LVH-M are the only hospitals in the area and among less than 7 percent of hospitals in the country to receive Magnet TMdesignation – the highest honor for nursing excellence. Magnet designation is granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center after rigorous review of the quality and professionalism of nursing and clinical support systems. It demonstrates our outstanding commitment to patients and families, and recognizes us as a “magnet” for the nation’s best nurses. Magnet designation means our caregivers work in an environment supportive of professional development and dedicated to practice excellence, resulting in our community having a benchmark in which to measure quality care. The ultimate result: better care for our patients.
Respiratory therapist: It’s possible you might see a respiratory therapist during your hospital stay. These health care professionals direct and manage your breathing (respiratory) and lung (pulmonary) care. A big part of their job is educating you. They might give you information and tools to manage your asthma or suggest ways to stop smoking.
Physical therapist: Physical therapists determine if you need therapy while in the hospital, and if so, will start you on a program. They also recommend whether or not you need additional therapy at a rehabilitation center or skilled nursing facility before going home.
Occupational therapist: An occupational therapist will help you overcome physical, development or emotional disabilities so you lead an independent, productive and satisfying life. This caregiver will teach you how to carry out activities of daily living at home, on the job and in the community. He or she helps elderly people adjust to the special problems of aging while remaining physically and mentally active. Occupational therapists recommend changes in the layout and design of your home or workplace to give you better access and mobility. They also help you improve communication skills, such as reading, writing and using the telephone.
Chaplain: The chaplains at Lehigh Valley Hospital are here for you and your family throughout your hospital stay, whether you are facing a difficult decision, experiencing grief or are anxious about treatment. Our chaplains are trained to minister to people of all faiths and beliefs.
Pharmacist: You probably won’t see a pharmacist in your hospital room, but they pass through the hallways of your unit, as they do work closely with other caregivers. You also may see a pharmacist if you pick up medications at our in-house pharmacy before you leave. Our pharmacists fill prescription orders, check to ensure you won’t have a problem with drug interactions and will counsel you on how to take your medicines properly.
Dietitian: The meals you receive while a patient at Lehigh Valley Health Network are determined by a dietitian based on your nutritional needs. Dietitians also work with doctors to provide a treatment plan that may include special diets depending on your condition.
Case manager: This person coordinates your health insurance benefits, obtains authorizations for in-hospital and post-hospital care, and plans for your needs when you leave the hospital, including arranging for assisted living, medical equipment or rehabilitation.
Technical partner: Technical partners are an important part of your care team. They can give treatments and perform diagnostic tests (for example, an EKG), as directed by a registered nurse. Among other responsibilities, they test blood-sugar levels, take vital signs and give baths.
Administrative partner: Administrative partners coordinate communications among caregivers, patients and visitors. They perform all clerical and computer functions to support patient care delivery and coordinate daily patient flow activities.
Patient transporter: If you are staying in the hospital and need tests or surgery or are being transferred to a different care unit, a patient transporter is likely the person who will wheel you where you need to go.
Your doctor may ask the wound, ostomy and continence nurse (WOCN) to see you if you have a wound or any type of incontinence problem. WOCNs have specialized knowledge in the care of people with conditions such as:
- Draining wounds
- Pressure ulcers (bedsores)
- Urinary incontinence
After an initial assessment, your WOCN will then work closely with your doctor to recommend and implement the most appropriate treatment for your specific situation.
Every year, thousands of people have ostomy surgery. If you have had this type of surgery, it is normal to have many questions and concerns. Our nurse specialist will meet with you and begin teaching you how to manage your care when you get home. She will also keep in touch with you once you are discharged and work closely with you until you feel comfortable on your own. Some of the services offered to help you include:
- Ostomy teaching, including selection of a pouching system and troubleshooting
- Skin and appliance issues
- Selection of skin care products
- Wound dressing
- Evaluation and treatment of urinary incontinence
To contact our wound, ostomy and continence nurse, call 570-501-4970