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Patient Surgery Guide

My Health Care Team

Your health care team at the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) is here to care for you. This information can help you understand what different members of your health care team do.

My Surgery Team
My Anesthesia Team
My Inpatient Team

My Surgery Team

Doctors

While at UCM, you will be cared for by a team of doctors. A senior doctor will supervise your treatment and decide when you are ready to go home. A senior doctor is a faculty member of the University of Chicago who is called the "attending physician"or "physician of record."

Residents and Fellows

The team of doctors caring for you will include doctors called "residents" and "fellows." These are licensed doctors getting more training in a medical specialty.

Physician Assistants (PA)

Physician Assistant (PA) is a licensed medical professional working under the direction of a doctor and with the healthcare team. They diagnose and treat illnesses, get patient's medical history, do physical exams, order and give test results, make treatment plans, prescribe medicine, assists in surgery and do surgical procedures in the clinic.

Advanced Practice Nurses (APN)

An APN is a nurse with extra training who works with your doctors and treats many medical problems. They can also provide you with information and help plan your care with other members of the health care team.

Medical Students

Medical students at UCM help take care of you as part of their training to become doctors. They can be an important resource for you. Students are always supervised by doctors.

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My Anesthesia Team

Anesthesiologists

Anesthesiologists are doctors with special training to give anesthesia and to manage pain. They make sure that you are safe and comfortable during the surgery and recovery from anesthesia. They will work with you before, during, and after surgery.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)

A CRNA is an advanced practice nurse who works with the anesthesiologist and will also work with you before, during, and after surgery.

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My Inpatient Team

Nurses

Nurses are an important link between you and other people caring for you. They help share your needs with your health care team and explain your treatment to you. Nurses give out medications and intravenous fluids, perform treatments and plan your daily care. They also provide teachings about your condition and how to continue treatment after you leave the hospital.

Nursing Assistants

Nursing assistants check your "vital signs" including blood pressure, pulse and temperature. They maintain your personal hygiene, help with meals and make sure that you are comfortable during your stay. Nurses oversee nursing assistants.

Social Workers

Social workers can help you plan for when you leave the hospital, find financial support, refer you to community resources, give you advice about your illness and arrange for proper care after you leave the hospital.

Therapists: There are Many Kinds of Therapists

  • Physical Therapists help to maintain and restore physical function. They help you learn to use your body through exercise.
  • Occupational Therapists help you build up and get back the skills needed for daily life. They work to help you be as independent as possible as quickly as possible.
  • Respiratory Therapists provide care to patients with breathing and heart problems. They help give oxygen and breathing treatments, and perform tests that show how well the lungs are working.

Care Coordinators

Care Coordinators are specially trained nurses who help make a plan of care that includes you as the key decision maker. The Care Coordinator is a link between you and your insurance company. They answer requests for current medical information and seek approval from your insurance company for services you will need after you leave the hospital.

Patient Service Coordinators

Patient Service Coordinators are the front desk staff who help check you in for your surgery, provide updates to your family during your surgery, and are able to help you and your family with any needs during the course of your stay.

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