Your Healthcare Team
During your stay, you'll come into contact with many people. You can expect your team of caregivers to introduce themselves and let you know what role they play in your care, what they're planning to do and the effects you can expect.
The Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Campus is the primary teaching hospital for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, providing you with access to a team of dedicated physicians and specialists with world-renowned expertise in research, cutting-edge treatments and the latest advancements in healthcare.
One physician will oversee your care, but you may also receive treatment from many others, including specialists, hospitalists, intensivists, fellows, residents and interns. These physicians may be affiliated with UT Medical School or may work in a self-employed private practice.
These doctors share a commitment to uphold the highest possible standards of practice and provide compassionate, expert care for you. If at any time you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask a member of your healthcare team.
Also known as the primary physician, an attending physician is responsible for overseeing your care during your stay and will work with you to make all decisions about your treatment. Attending physicians work with specialists and residents to assist you, and may supervise or teach other house staff members, fellows and interns.
A specialist is a physician who has chosen to study and practice a certain field of medicine. Depending on your condition, you may be seen by one or more physicians who specialize in a particular area, including ear, nose and throat; heart and vascular; neurology; and ophthalmology (eye).
Hospitalists and Intensivists
Hospitalists are generalists who manage the care of patients who are not critically ill. Intensivists are critical care physician specialists who manage the care of patients who are critically ill or require monitoring in an intensive care environment. Both hospitalists and intensivists work together with physicians to coordinate care for patients, and are available on the unit 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A physician who has completed training as an intern and resident may become a fellow, allowing further development of a particular expertise in a specialty. The training, known as a fellowship, typically lasts for more than one year. Upon its completion, physicians are able to practice without direct supervision.
A resident physician (also referred to as a house staff member) has received a medical degree, completed an internship and is now practicing under supervision, shadowing the daily activities of licensed physicians. The length of residency varies, depending on the specialty.
After graduating from medical school, physicians are required to complete a year of training in a hospital as an intern, gaining valuable patient care experience under direct supervision.
Students currently enrolled in medical school observe patient care in the hospital under the supervision of residents or other physicians. Because they are not yet licensed physicians, they are unable to perform procedures without supervision or provide direct patient care.
Our sensitive staff of specialized nurses will care for you in an environment dedicated to your complete comfort and recovery. Registered nurses will direct your care with the support of other nursing professionals, including licensed vocational nurses, patient care assistants and advanced practice practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives and nurse anesthetists. All advanced practice nurses are registered nurses with advanced training and education, most with master's degrees in nursing.
Rapid Response Team
The Rapid Response Team includes highly trained professionals who can be called to any patient who seems to be in distress or getting sicker. The team can be called by anyone - the patient, the patient's family or a caregiver - to assist with determining whether a higher level of care is needed. Warning signs that a patient may be getting sicker include:
- Changes in the heart or respiratory (breathing) rate
- A drop in blood pressure
- Changes in urinary output (either much more or much less)
- Confusion or other mental status (thinking) changes
If you notice any of the above warning signs, or just have a general feeling that something does not look or seem right with the patient, alert your caregiver, or call the Rapid Response Team yourself at (713) 704-4444.
Our case managers will work with you to plan and facilitate options to meet your healthcare needs cost effectively. They will also work with your insurance company to authorize hospitalization and help you with discharge planning and your home care needs.
A vital part of our interdisciplinary healthcare team, interfaith chaplains recognize spiritual care as an essential dimension of the total care we provide our patients. They are available 24 hours a day to offer spiritual support to patients, family members, friends and hospital staff. Chaplaincy Services can be reached at (713) 704-4160.
Our registered dietitians are licensed professionals trained to evaluate nutrition status and make recommendations for special diets and supplements based on each patient's plan of care. They also keep caregivers updated on current nutrition information and work to ensure patient satisfaction with food served. For a consultation with a dietitian, please ask your nurse.
Hospital pharmacists advocate for the safe and effective use of medicines across the continuum of care, from admission through discharge. They provide information about medications and carefully monitor all treatment that involves drug therapies. Working in conjunction with other healthcare professionals, they play a vital role in ensuring patient safety.
Patient Access, also referred to as the Business Office, provides assistance with your account information, registration, scheduling of outpatient visits, cashier services, financial counseling assistance, insurance questions and other business needs.
Patient Transport is dedicated to providing assistance in moving patients throughout the hospital. Your care team will contact Patient Transport to arrange for moves during your stay and for discharge assistance. To expedite your discharge, please plan to be picked up at our entrance on Fannin Street. For your convenience, this entrance includes valet parking and a waiting area for you to meet your ride.
Physical therapists perform and interpret tests, and develop therapy programs focused on improving posture, movement, strength, endurance, cardiopulmonary function, coordination, joint mobility, flexibility and functional abilities in daily living skills, including those used at home and at work.
Occupational therapists use purposeful activity to develop or restore the highest possible level of independence in patients who are limited by physical or mental injury or illness, dysfunctional conditions, or development or learning disabilities. They work with patients to develop or restore all the components of daily performance.
The respiratory and pulmonary care team is a group of specially trained professionals who utilize the most modern equipment available to deliver the highest possible level of care for patients with respiratory-related problems. The department operates a full-time pulmonary lab, including a bronchoscopy suite, and provides a full continuum of diagnostic and therapeutic respiratory and pulmonary procedures.
Speech-language pathologists provide prevention, screening, consultation, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, management, counseling and follow-up services for a range of swallowing, communication and language disorders.
Social workers are professional counselors who advocate for our patients and connect them with the resources they need both in the hospital and after discharge. They are available to provide you and your family members with counseling, education and help coping with the psychological and social difficulties that can accompany complex health issues.
As the patient's advocate, our Guest Services representatives help patients and families solve problems, facilitate communication among departments, and deal with concerns and unmet needs. If you need assistance, call (713) 704-4540.
Memorial Hermann-TMC and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital have hundreds of volunteers who donate their time and talent to enhance your hospital stay. Volunteers serve throughout the hospital, and can provide you with reading materials and other amenities to make your stay more comfortable. There are a variety of volunteer programs in place to improve your experience, such as PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support), a program that can bring chronically and terminally ill people together with their pets during their hospital stay. Computer, fax and copying services are also available for your use in the Volunteer Services Office, located on the 2nd floor of Cullen Pavilion, just before the Skybridge, and can be reached at (713) 704-4141. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Our specially trained staff from the Child Life department works collaboratively with other healthcare team members to help children, adolescents and families understand and cope with hospitalization. They provide important information to help prepare children and their families for medical and surgical procedures, and to provide emotional support through therapeutic play, positive interactions, developmental interactions and recreational opportunities.
The department facilitates hospital and homebound school services, and provides bedside services for children who are unable to attend group activities. Services are also provided in the Pediatric Emergency Center, Day Surgery and in other rooms where children may be awaiting treatment.