Getting to Know Your Treatment Team
Meeting your child’s healthcare team
Your child and family may see a lot of new faces during treatment. Hospitals strive to provide comprehensive care that requires specialized and trained professionals. Each member of the team works hard to meet the specific needs of your child. Depending on your child’s requirements and the hospital program, your care team may include some or all of the following people.
Oncology healthcare team members
Select a healthcare team member below to learn more about their role.
Attending Physician (Pediatric Oncologist)
The attending physician is a doctor who has completed training to provide specialty care, such as cancer care. They supervise the care team and direct the care plan for your child.
Advanced Practice Provider (APP): Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant
An APP has advanced training to help diagnose and care for your child. The APP’s duties include ordering diagnostic and laboratory testing, prescribing medication, providing counsel and education, and coordinating care for your child.
An oncology nurse is trained to care for patients in the hospital and the clinic. Nurses have many duties, including administering medication, checking vital signs, communicating with the care team, and providing education. Many hospitals assign a primary nurse who you see regularly during treatment.
A pharmacist has advanced training to prepare medicine and nutritional support for your child. A pharmacist may also provide education about the medicines your child receives.
A fellow is a doctor who has completed medical school and a residency, and who is now receiving specialty training in pediatric oncology.
A resident is a doctor who has completed medical school and now is receiving specialty training in pediatrics. These doctors are closely supervised by the attending physician.
Additional oncology healthcare team members
Palliative Care Team
This is a separate team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, and chaplains who specialize in managing symptoms and providing support during a serious illness. They work closely with your care team to improve quality of life for your child and family.
Child Life Specialist
A child life specialist has specialty training in child development. They help prepare your child for procedures, treatment, and coping with cancer.
A registered dietitian is trained to help the team evaluate your child’s nutritional needs and growth. They also provide education and nutritional support for your child.
A case manager works with the team to coordinate any home care or therapy needs after you return home from a hospital visit.
These are people with specialty training to work with your child to maintain or recover developmental skills.
A social worker is trained to help your child and family cope with the cancer journey through counseling, emotional support, and connection to pertinent resources on an individual and community level.