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.

Your Doctors

There are a few different types of doctors who may be involved in your care. They include interns, residents, fellows and attending physicians. They have all graduated from medical school and are at different levels of training. All care is overseen by an attending physician.

Some doctors involved in your care may be specialists in a particular area, such as cancer or cardiovascular health. Others are general medicine physicians who work in the hospital. They are called hospitalists. Your primary care doctor may also be involved in your care.

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.

Patient Relations

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is committed to trying to meet your needs in the best possible way. We recognize that, at times, concerns and problems may arise. To promote communication, we encourage you to speak with the people involved in your care, such as your attending or resident physician, your nurse, or the nurse manager on your unit. If there is a concern or complaint that is not being resolved to your satisfaction or that you would prefer to discuss with someone not directly involved in the situation, the patient relations staff is available to help. They can help to clarify issues, obtain information, facilitate communication, mediate, and otherwise help to resolve concerns about your care or service. You can contact Patient Relations by phone at (617) 975-9750, or by mail at:

Patient Relations
Department of Health Care Quality
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Volunteer Services

We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of volunteers who provide additional services to patients and families throughout the medical center. During your stay, a volunteer may deliver magazines or a newspaper to your room. Or a volunteer may offer to assist you at the information desk, in the emergency department, in testing areas, or in the waiting areas of inpatient floors. Our volunteer surgical liaisons are the primary contacts between medical staff and families while patients are in surgery. They are able to relay non-medical information to family members on the day of the procedure. If surgery is on the West Campus, family and friends should check in with the surgical liaison office on the sixth floor of the Clinical Center. On the East Campus, volunteer staff are available in the waiting area on the third floor of the Carl J. Shapiro Clinical Center.