Your Health Care Team

At Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, we partner with you to provide the very best care. As we get to know you, we hope you’ll get to know us, too. Depending on the type of care you need, and where you receive it, you’ll encounter doctors, nurses, and potentially many other healthcare providers with highly specialized skills.

As a teaching hospital for the Stanford University School of Medicine, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has doctors, nurses and health professionals-in-training who may be involved in your child’s care under the supervision of a senior medical professional.

Every member of our team is dedicated to providing family-centered care that nurtures the whole child, including physical, emotional, developmental and social needs. Across our diverse roles,  our goal is the same: to deliver nurturing care and extraordinary outcomes for you and your child.

Here’s a guide to some of the people you may meet during your care:


Attending physicians are experienced pediatric and obstetric doctors who lead the team of doctors. They supervise and teach fellows, residents and medical students. Your child is assigned to an attending physician, who has primary responsibility for determining and supervising the course of treatment.

Fellows are physicians who have completed their residency training and are pursuing additional specialized training in pediatrics. Fellows work closely with attending physicians in providing patient care.

Residents/interns are physicians who have completed medical school and continue in specialized training from Stanford University School of Medicine. First year residents are called interns. All residents practice under the supervision of attending physicians and fellows.

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants (PAs) are healthcare professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. A PA can make medical decisions on their own and provide services to diagnose and treat patients. They may also conduct physical exams, order and interpret tests, write prescriptions, provide preventive health education and assist in surgery.


Case managers are registered nurses (RN) who coordinate and manage you or your child's care throughout hospitalization and plan for your child's discharge.

Charge nurses (RN) are responsible for overseeing the nursing care on a unit during a particular shift.

Clinical nurse specialists (RN) and nurse practitioners (RN) have additional expertise in physical diagnosis, psycho-social assessment and management of health-illness needs in primary care.

Nurse managers (clinical operation managers) are responsible for managing the nursing care on all shifts of a particular unit.

Nursing staff are the caregivers who work with physicians and other health professionals. Nursing care is provided to your child around the clock by registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, milieu counselors and nursing assistants.

Unit service assistants provide clerical support to the nursing units and direction to visitors.

Hospital Support Services

Admissions personnel expedite and simplify the admission process by screening your medical and insurance information.

With a focus on spiritual care, our chaplaincy staff participate in an inter-faith, hospital-based program designed to help meet the spiritual and religious needs of patients and families.

Family Resource Center staff help you and your family find what you need in our extensive library. If you are unable to visit in person, we’ll come to your bedside.

Financial counselors assist families with financial matters related to medical care.

Housekeeping ensures that the hospital is clean and neat for all visitors.

Interpreters help you communicate in your first language, or sign language, about medical and other information so we can provide the best care possible.

When it’s necessary to draw blood samples, you’ll see our Laboratory phlebotomists

Dietitians and nutritionists help prepare a diet for you or your child according to medical needs and ethnic, religious or personal preferences.

Occupational therapists help children with physical limitations become more independent and adapt activities of daily living to their special needs.

Our Office of Patient Experience staff serve as your advocates, can help resolve any problems and provide helpful information.

Pharmacists prepare and distribute medications and provide information on how to use a medication properly, how drugs may interact with each other, and how a drug may affect the progress of a disease.

Physical therapists treat babies and children with acute or prolonged physical dysfunction or pain, with emphasis on movement disorders.

Psychologists help children deal with the normal effects of illness, such as pain and anxiety, and help them find effective ways to adjust to illness and treatment.

Radiologic technologists perform X-rays, ultrasound, CAT scans, MRI scans and other tests to help physicians with diagnosis and treatment.

Recreation therapists use play, recreation, education, self-expression and theories of child development to help normalize the hospital experience and reduce the stress for children and families.

Respiratory therapists are on staff to focus on helping children maintain proper and healthful breathing, as needed.

School teachers are accredited education professionals who help kids in grades K-12 keep up their studies while hospitalized.

Social workers are available for practical and emotional support, and provide referrals to community agencies and other services as needed.

Speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat children with communication challenges.

Volunteers are community members who generously give their time and talents to the hospital.

Meet the people that may be part of the Health Care Team that cares for you or your child.  We are introducing these people in the order of who you may see as you move through your clinic visit.

The FRONT DESK STAFF have completed training and are the face of the clinic.  The front desk staff answers phone calls, help you and your child check in and out of the clinic, and answer questions about the clinic visit.

A MEDICAL ASSISTANT (MA) has completed training to perform specific duties under the supervision of a doctor. The medical assistant may take medical histories, record vital signs, explain treatments, prepare you or your child for examinations, assist during examinations, and help communicate with other health care providers.

A REGISTERED NURSE (RN) has completed a nursing program and is a member of your or your child’s care team who may perform specialty procedures, provide medical advice and teaching, and help with home care.

A MEDICAL STUDENT is learning to become a doctor. The medical student is supervised by the attending physician, fellow, and resident and may be part of your or your child’s care team.  

A RESIDENT PHYSICIAN is a doctor who has completed medical school and is now training in a specialty such as pediatrics or surgery. The resident is supervised by the attending physician and works with the care team to make decisions about your or your child’s care. 

A FELLOW PHYSICIAN is a doctor who has completed medical school and residency in a field, such as pediatrics or surgery, who is training to become a specialist such as a pediatric heart specialist. The fellow is supervised by the attending physician and works with the care team to make decisions about your or your child’s care.

An ATTENDING PHYSICIAN is a doctor who has completed all training and is in charge of your or your child’s health care. An attending physician might lead a team of doctors in training, including medical students, residents, and fellows and supervise physician assistants.  You or your child may see a doctor in training first and then be seen by the entire care team including the attending physician.

A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT (PA) is a health care provider who has completed graduate training and works closely with their supervising doctor. The physician assistant is a member of the health care team who will be involved with all parts of your or your child’s care including physical exams, preventive care, and treatment.

A NURSE PRACTITIONER (NP) is a health care provider who has completed graduate training in areas such as pediatrics or surgery. A nurse practitioner is a member of the health care team who will be involved with all parts of your or your child’s care including physical exams, preventive care, and treatment.

A SOCIAL WORKER (SW) has completed specialized training to provide support to you and your child to handle illnesses and treatment plans and to help with access to health care, resources, and education.

Some clinics have special people to help with your or your child’s care.

A RESPIRATORY THERAPIST is trained to evaluate and provide care for patients with breathing problems.  A respiratory therapist may perform breathing tests and treatments, provide patient teaching, and help with equipment needs.

A CLINICAL NUTRITIONIST/REGISTERED DIETITIAN (CN/RD) is trained to be an expert in food and nutrition.  A nutritionist or dietitian can help you or your child make healthy food and lifestyle choices.

A GENETIC COUNSELOR (GC) is a health provider who has completed training in medical genetics and counseling. The genetic counselor helps people understand and handle the genetic causes of disease.