You Have a Team Dedicated to Your Care
If your hospital stay is long, you may have more than one attending physician. You may be seen by many healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, technologists, physician assistants, and others.
You will receive the very best care at West Virginia University Hospitals, where our faculty physicians are part of a network of skilled specialists. Your attending physician heads a healthcare team that provides the right combination of skills, training, and experience to ensure that your stay will be as comfortable as possible.
Residents are fully licensed physicians who have completed four years of medical school and now are doing specialized post-graduate training.
Because West Virginia University Hospitals is a teaching institution, medical students, supervised by your attending physician and residents, may observe your progress and contribute to your care.
Physician assistants are specially trained and certified to provide medical services under the supervision of a physician.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education and training.
While you are in the hospital, a registered nurse will direct and oversee your nursing care. During your hospital stay, your nurse will provide physical care, education, evaluation of your response to care, and answer your questions and concerns. Your nurse will also provide emotional support to you and your family.
Clinical associates make beds, give baths, and walk with patients. They also collect blood samples for tests requested by the doctor caring for you.
Anesthesiologists are physicians who administer medications during and after surgery. Nurse anesthetists are specially certified nurses who administer medications.
Technologists are trained to use the most up-to-date equipment and methods to diagnose illness. Their equipment, including X-ray and EKG machines, is used to gather useful information that cannot be obtained any other way.
Dietitians help in your recovery by assessing your nutritional needs and designing a care plan to help meet those needs. The dietitian can provide instruction about special diets. If you want to talk to a dietitian, ask your nurse to contact one.
Pharmacists dispense medication prescribed by your physician. They are available to answer questions you may have about drug therapy. Ask your nurse if you wish to talk to a pharmacist.
Physical therapists provide exercises and other activities to help to restore or improve your physical functioning and prevent disability following illness, surgery, or injury.
Occupational therapists provide activities to help you learn to take care of yourself, return to work, and/or perform activities of daily living following illness, surgery, or injury.
Respiratory therapists provide treatments to preserve or improve lung function.
Speech pathologists evaluate and treat communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults.
Specialists Specially trained physicians and nurses are available 24 hours a day to help you and your doctor develop a pain management plan to use during your hospital stay.
If you have any problems with your care, want to ask a question, or need to talk with someone, you may call a patient advocate at 304-598-4167 between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday. In the evenings or on weekends, ask a member of the nursing staff to page the nursing supervisor.
A stay in the hospital takes us away from our normal activities and from our familiar daily life. We may be faced with new life circumstances and adjustments. This may be a time of fear, loneliness, or worry, and at times, gratitude. A chaplain is trained to listen and offer support to you, whatever your faith or circumstance. Chaplains can also provide communion, anointing, baptism, and other rituals. A chaplain is available to patients and families 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 304-598-4185 or ask an employee to page us.
Clinical Care Coordinators
Clinical care coordinators (CCCs) are nurses who help make sure your care is coordinated while you are in the hospital, communicate with your insurance company to obtain approval for services, and help you and your family make plan for your discharge. They can help obtain approval for your transfer to a rehabilitation hospital or nursing home if needed, or for home health services or equipment you may need after you return home.
If you do not know who your CCC is, ask your nurse to contact the Care Management Department, or call the department at 304-598-4183. The Department is located on Level 4 in the hospital, and is open 8 am to 4:30 pm seven days a week. If you have an immediate discharge need and the department is closed, ask your nurse to call the hospital operator.
Social workers can help you with any personal, financial, or family problems that may arise. They are available for counseling and can help with understanding and obtaining community resources. A social worker is available 20 hours per day. Call the Care Management Department at 304-598-4183 to contact your social worker, or ask your nurse to help you contact a social worker.
WVU Hospitals volunteers contribute their time and talents to our patients, their families, and visitors. Volunteers deliver patient meals, work in the Gift Shop, operate a lending library of books and magazines, and perform many other tasks. Volunteer wear burgundy jackets; junior volunteers wear red and white stripes. For more information, or to ask about opportunities for working as a volunteer, call 304-598-4134.