beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Your Health Care Team

Your Nurse

Your daily care is managed by a primary nurse coordinator - a registered nurse (RN) who is responsible for all aspects of your nursing care while you are at the medical  center. Your primary nurse coordinator works with a team of associate nurses who are also RNs. This team of nursing professionals will work closely with other members of your health care team to make sure your care goes smoothly and to plan for any care needs you may have after you are discharged.

In many areas, nursing staff work with patient care technicians or nursing assistants. These are specially trained staff who help nurses by performing specific tasks, such as taking blood pressures, making beds, or helping patients bathe or dress. They work under the supervision of an RN.

Other Members of the Health Care Team

In addition to doctors and nurses, a number of other health care professionals may be involved in your care, depending on your needs.

Social Workers

Social workers are available to help patients and families cope with the many issues that arise when illness or injury occurs. They can provide counseling to you and your family as well as links to needed resources in the community.

Social workers are part of the health care team and work with you and your providers to enhance your recovery and wellbeing. If you would like to talk with a social worker, please call 617-667-3421.

Case Managers

Case managers are registered nurses who specialize in helping patients and families make plans for continued recovery and care after discharge from the medical center. They work with the nurses and physicians caring for you to make sure your discharge goes as smoothly as possible. They are also available to help answer questions about health insurance or benefits provided under a particular health plan. To reach someone from case management, please call 617-632-7250.

Rehabilitation Services: Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech-Language Pathologists

Depending on your needs, you may see physical therapists, occupational therapists or speech-language pathologists during your stay. These specially trained  rehabilitation services professionals will help you if your nurse or doctor thinks that you need help with daily activities such as getting out of bed and walking, eating (including being able to swallow safely), bathing, dressing, or communicating.

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists are on staff to help patients who are having difficulty with their breathing. They provide a variety of treatments and help administer inhaled medications. In some cases, respiratory therapists see patients who will be using inhaled medication at home to teach them how to use their medicine or how to care for needed equipment. In intensive care, respiratory therapists manage ventilators and provide other care related to respiratory functions.


The medical center has a comprehensive interpreter services program to facilitate language-appropriate communication between patients and families and their health care teams. Virtually any language need can be accommodated through our interpreter staff or through our extensive network of resources, including interpreting services via telephone. If you require a TTY telephone (phone for the Deaf), please let your nurse know and one will be provided for you. Interpreter services are provided to patients free of charge. If you need to reach an interpreter, please call 617-667-4423.

Pastoral Staff

The medical center's pastoral care staff visits patients and families during their time at BIDMC. Whatever you denomination or spiritual practice may be, chaplains are available to see you on an emergency or non-emergency basis. A chaplain would be happy to visit you weather or not you belong to a particular religion. At your request, we can also contact clergy for you from outside the medical centre. Please call 617-667-3030 if we can be of assistance.

Food/Nutrition Services Staff

Staff from food services will provide you with a daily menu so that you may choose foods based on the diet prescribed by your doctor. If you would like to speak with someone about your meals, please ask to see a food services representative. Clinical registered dietitians (RDs) and dietetic technicians are also available as needed. These health professionals can help you learn to follow a diet prescribed by your doctor. Ask your doctor for a nutrition referral if you wish to speak to a dietitian about your diet. Most often, appointments with the dietitian occur following your discharge from the hospital. To meet with a dietitian about your diet, ask your doctor for a referral and call 617-667-2565 for an appointment.