UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital is a teaching hospital.

Your child’s care team will include many types of doctors at various stages of training and various other types of professional staff members. Every member of your child’s care team is dedicated to providing your child, you and your family with the highest quality care.

Members of the team include:


  • Attending physician: Supervising physician who oversees your child’s care as well as the residents, fellows and medical students tending to your child. Attending physicians may change during your child’s stay in the hospital. If a new attending physician is assigned to your child’s care, he or she will introduce himself or herself to your child and your family.
  • Fellow: Licensed pediatrician who is training in a pediatric specialty field. Each specialized pediatric service includes fellows who will take a role in helping plan and communicate your child’s treatment plan. Fellows may change during your child’s stay as well.
  • Resident: Licensed doctor who is training to become a pediatrician. Residents are an integral part of the medical team that cares for your child. They will have the most contact with you and your child. Attending physicians rely on information gathered by residents when making decisions about your child’s treatment. They will examine your child every morning, give daily orders for care and update the care team about your child’s progress. Residents communicate information to attending physicians and fellows during morning rounds.


  • Charge nurse (CN): Registered nurse who plans, coordinates and delivers care for each shift. This should apply to everyone.
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS): Registered nurse with advanced education and training who oversees quality, safety and staff education. A CNS is a clinical expert who cares for patients with complex care needs.
  • Nurse practitioner (NP): Registered nurse with advanced education and training who practices independently and works closely with doctors. Nurse practitioners diagnose, treat and teach patients and families about serious and chronic conditions.
  • Nursing manager/unit director: Runs the patient care unit.
  • Registered nurse/bedside nurse (RN): Provides and coordinates most of your child’s daily care and education. They are your main contact with other members of the health care team.

Other staff

  • Care coordinators/discharge planners: Coordinates complex inpatient care and works with families, the health care team and community resources to arrange care at home.
  • Chaplain: Provides pastoral, spiritual and emotional support to patients and families from diverse faith traditions and cultures (available 24/7).
  • Child Life Specialist: Focuses on your child’s emotional and developmental needs; helps reduce the stress of a hospital stay; and provides information about play, child development and adjustment to illness.
  • Clinical care partner: Assists the nurse with your child’s daily activities.
  • Clinical social worker: Provides support services and resource referrals with a focus on helping the family adjust to the impact of illness and hospitalization. Guidance is also available for families needing help outside the hospital setting, including referrals for housing, transportation (including parking) and financial assistance.
  • Medical student: UCLA medical students may examine your child in the morning and take part in rounds with residents and the attending doctor.
  • Occupational therapist (OT): Works with your child if he or she faces challenges due to injury, illness, disease, or developmental delay. They may assess how your child performs daily tasks by looking at strength, balance, vision and cognition.
  • Pharmacist: Prepares medicine prescribed by doctors. They can also tell you about a medicine’s purpose, effectiveness and side effects.
  • Physical therapist (PT): Helps patients gain independence by restoring strength and function.
  • Registered dietitian: Evaluates your child’s growth and nutrition status and makes nutrition recommendations based on your child’s medical condition.
  • Respiratory therapist (RT): Treats and monitors your child’s breathing problems.
  • Speech and language pathologist (SLP): Assesses and supports your child’s ability to speak, understand, read, write and swallow.
  • Unit coordinators (UC): Responsible for administrative duties at the front desk of your unit.

Specialty services

When your child is an inpatient at UCLA, he or she will be assigned to a pediatric specialty service that will consist of a team of doctors and nurses who will take the lead in your child’s care. Other specialty service teams may be brought in for consultation on a specific issue, but the overall plan of treatment and care for your child will be coordinated by the primary specialty service team.

If your child receives care on the acute-care pediatric floor, a hospital medicine attending (called a hospitalist) will often assume leadership of your child’s care. If your child receives care in the NICU or PICU/ PCTICU, the attending physician for the unit (such as the neonatologist or intensivist) will assume leadership of your child’s care and will coordinate care with the primary specialty team until your child is well enough to be transferred to a pediatric acute-care unit.