Who makes up my child’s Treatment Team and what do they do?
The treatment team convenes daily to discuss individual patient care for every patient. The treatment team consists of a psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, therapist, registered nurse, and case manager.
The psychiatrist/nurse practitioner meets with every patient daily. When not physically present, both a psychiatrist and a medical doctor are available 24 hours a day to nursing staff. If you have information you would like to share directly with the psychiatrist, please ask your therapist to arrange the best way for you to communicate with the doctor. The psychiatrist/ nurse practitioner calls to discuss the child’s medical and psychiatric history, as well as to discuss the need for medications, if this is indicated. The guardian’s permission is needed to begin the use of any new medication for patients 15 years of age or younger.
The registered nurse (RN) is responsible for oversight of the patient care functions of the unit and for the overall safety of the unit. They deliver treatment by administering medication and assisting in other therapy such as educational groups for your child. Nurses also monitor and evaluate progress. Patients have 24-hour access to nursing staff.
The therapist is your contact person with the hospital and treatment team. One on one contact with the therapist is scheduled at least one time during the patient’s stay and the family therapy session will happen prior to discharge. The therapist helps the family identify target areas of change and is available to answer questions about the plan of care. The therapist, or another team member, will notify the guardian with significant changes to the direction of the treatment efforts. The therapist is also your voice to the treatment team in a patient’s treatment plan, and the plan will be reviewed with you once the plan is developed by the Treatment Team.
The case manager sets up discharge and aftercare plans and relays necessary information to the treatment team from your family and vice versa. You will talk with the discharge planner about aftercare concerns and you may direct your aftercare treatment–related questions to them. If the discharge planner is not sure of the answer, they may ask that you leave a number for them to call you back with a response to your concerns/questions.
Additional Staff Providing Patient Care
Psychiatric Technician: The psychiatric technicians (psych tech) are responsible for the direct supervision of patients. Psych techs are on duty 24 hours a day. They are always available for patients both to structure activities on the unit and to ensure patients are safe and following unit guidelines.
Dietitian: The dietitian assesses patients for nutritional risks including poor growth and disordered eating patterns. If a patient is identified as being nutritionally “at-risk” (e.g. they are not eating enough), the dietitian monitors the food they eat to assure they are meeting their needs. The dietitian also works with the kitchen staff to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions. The dietitian also provides nutritional education and leads weekly group nutrition activities.
Family Practice: A physician specializing in internal medicine conducts a history and physical on every patient shortly after admission. Family practice is available to consult regarding any medical issues which arise during the patient stay. Family practice physicians are available 24 hours a day for consult.
Occupational Therapist: The occupational therapist will perform group therapy using sensory based techniques to promote experiential learning. Group interventions will address performance deficits that negatively impact every day functioning. Example group topics include but are not limited to the following: life balance, coping skills, anger management, self-awareness, self-acceptance, social skills, mindfulness, decision making and boundary setting. The occupational therapist will work with your child primarily on a group basis but will be available for individual care on a case by case bases to provide specific treatment interventions. The goal of occupational therapy is to promote increased independence and improve overall health and well-being.
Activity Therapist: Activity therapy works to build self-confidence and an atmosphere of trust. They will facilitate group activity therapy with your child regularly.