Your Health Care Team

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a world-renowned academic medical center, committed to providing the best, most up-to-date patient care available. To do this, we use the skills and expertise of a large health care team, and at the same time, educate the next generation of professionals. You may see students from many of the disciplines listed below. These students are under the direct supervision of a licensed professional. If you have additional questions about the role of students at Georgetown, please ask your nurse or doctor. We encourage and depend on our patients and families to actively contribute to the process of planning and delivering care. Working together, we can offer excellent customized patient care. Here are some of the members of your team:

Medical Staff

Our doctors, residents, advanced medical students are dedicated to working together to ensure world-class diagnostic and treatment care.

Attending Physician

Your personal doctor diagnoses and treats your medical condition in addition to communicating daily with the rest of the staff to carefully monitor your optimal plan of treatment. Your doctor may call in other highly experienced medical specialists to help diagnose and treat your condition. Ask your physicians any questions you have concerning your care or condition. Some patients find it useful to write down their questions as they occur and there is space at the end of this book for this purpose.

Resident Physicians/Fellow Physicians

These physicians are licensed medical doctors who are continuing their advanced training under the supervision of our attending doctors. These outstanding young doctors are selected through a competitive process from top medical centers throughout the country and the world. They are, in turn, responsible for the medical students.

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physicians Assistants (PAs)

There are a significant number of medical, surgical and specialty NPs or PAs in both the outpatient and inpatient areas. They assist the attending physicians with patient care and are often readily available to monitor and update orders. They follow their patients' progress during the hospital stay and work to coordinate care with post-hospitalization treatment. You often meet your surgical NPs or PAs during preadmission testing.

Registered Nurses (RNs)

A Georgetown Magnet nurse will be assigned to you each shift and is directly responsible for your care. Your RN will oversee your immediate team of nursing care providers, help to monitor your recovery, and teach you and your family the steps to care for yourself. Your nurse will direct the other members of the nursing team that includes clinical technicians, nursing assistants and unit secretaries. Nurse experts, such as enterostomal/wound nurses, are also available to assist in your care. Each nursing unit has a nursing coordinator who is responsible for the overall management of operations on the unit. If you have a concern or question about your care, feel free to speak to the nursing coordinator or the assistant nursing coordinator. You may have noticed that your RN wears a large gold triangular pin designating that he/she is a "Magnet nurse". Georgetown was awarded Magnet Status in 2004 for proven excellence in nursing care and patient care outcomes. Only 2% of the nation's hospitals can boast this award and it communicates to patients and their families that they can expect the very best in nursing care. Magnet facilities consistently outperform non-Magnet hospitals, delivering better patient outcomes, short lengths of stay and increased patient satisfaction rates. Georgetown is the first hospital in Washington to have this distinction.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)

An LPN works in a team relationship with the RN to provide direct patient care, including treatments, medications, and other direct care.

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) or Clinical Techs

Under the direct supervision of nurses, CNAs or Clin Techs provide basic nursing care to patients.


Our registered and licensed dieticians are available to provide extensive assessment and education to all patients who require medical nutrition therapy. The dieticians are an integral part of the multidisciplinary team and strive to ensure each patient's nutritional health. Your health care team may ask the dietician to visit you, or you may ask your nurse to arrange for a dietician to talk to you.


Clinical pharmacists are assigned to make rounds with the physician teams on patient care units to provide input into your medication therapy. They assure that your drug regimen is customized to provide maximum benefit. You may ask to speak to a pharmacist if you have questions about your medications.

Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Language

Pathology Therapists

These therapists compose the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. At the request of your physician, these professionals provide quality therapy to adult and pediatric patients with physical dysfunction related to trauma, disease/illness and /or congenital problems. Such dysfunction may be related among other causes to neurological, orthopaedic, neuromuscular, or oncology diagnosis. They also offer services on an outpatient basis.

Radiologic Technologists

These professionals carry out diagnostic imaging procedures on you at the request of your physician. Examples of these include routine x-rays; CT, MRI, or Nuclear Medicine scans; Ultrasound, or more invasive interventional procedures. The results are then interpreted by radiologists, who are physicians specialized in radiology, and reported to your doctor.

Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory Therapists work with physicians to monitor patients' breathing in all phases of care, and assist in treatment/diagnosis of lung disease in all age groups. Sometimes they help people stop smoking, work one-on-one with patients to improve lung function or treat asthma sufferers. Some therapists are "first responders" who provide emergency care for those requiring rapid response.

Case Managers and Social Workers

Case Managers are available to help you make arrangements for your posthospital care. The staff can help you arrange for a nursing or rehabilitation facility; suggest physical, financial or emotional support services; arrange for visiting nurse or home care services; refer you to community resources for counseling about personal or family problems; and help you and your family face terminal illness. Case managers maintain a current list of home care agencies and will help you arrange services that are covered by your insurance. Call ext. 4-3750. Our social workers can provide counseling to help you deal with any personal, social, emotional and/or financial stresses that may result from an injury or illness. In addition, the Case Management department will monitor your hospital stay to assure that you are not hospitalized longer than necessary to minimize out-of-pocket costs.


Learn more about pastoral care at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

A Word about Private Duty Nurses

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital does not advocate the use of private duty nurses. However, if you wish to have a private nurse at your bedside, the Nursing Office, 1st floor Main, will provide you with a list of agencies for you to contact. Please be advised that these nurses are not authorized to provide professional nursing care such as the administration of treatments or medications. They may, however, assist you with personal hygiene and comfort care measures.

Ethics Consult Services

The Ethics Consult Service is a free, confidential advisory service available at any time to assist MedStar Georgetown University Hospital patients, families and health care professionals in identifying, analyzing and resolving ethical issues. A Clinical Ethicist reviews each consult request. A full consult will generally involve a meeting of several ethicists, the health care team, you, and/or your family as appropriate. The ethicists facilitate discussions and clarify ethical issues in making important decisions. To request a consult call the Page Operator ext. 4-PAGE (ext. 4-7243) and request the "Ethics Consult Service."