Reaching Your Care Team
Our staff will visit your room regularly, but please call if you need assistance. To contact your nurse (RN) or patient care associate (PCA), please refer to the whiteboard in your room for their names and numbers. You may call them directly or use your call button. Using the call button or phone will help to ensure a response from the most appropriate staff member.
Your Care Team
Many people work together to provide care while you are at the hospital. This information will help explain the roles of care team members and how you can identify each one. Based on your needs, you may see some or all of the people listed below.
All staff wear an ID badge, and will introduce themselves and explain how they will be helping you. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
When possible, have a family member or friend with you to help ask questions and serve as your advocate. An extra set of eyes and ears is helpful for everyone on your team.
Registered Nurse (RN)
Your RN is the lead caregiver on your nursing team and will coordinate your care with all other team members. He or she will ensure all your nursing needs are met, including giving medicines and providing any patient or caregiver education.
An RN wears a white or navy uniform and you can look on their ID badge to see if they have the letters RN next to their name.
Patient Care Assistant (PCA)
Your PCA helps you by taking your temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs, as well as drawing your blood. The PCA will also help you with some of your comfort needs, such as meals, bathing and bed changes. A PCA wears a green uniform.
Unit Clerical Associate (UCA)
The UCA works at the nursing desk and answers the telephone and call button system. The UCA will get help for you when you call the desk or use the call button. A UCA usually wears business clothes.
This doctor is a faculty member in Ohio State’s College of Medicine. He or she leads the medical team that is responsible for your care. The attending physician or one of his or her faculty colleagues will see you each day you are in the hospital. An attending physician may wear a long white lab coat.
Attending physicians are generally assigned to blocks of time in the hospital and then rotate their responsibilities to a colleague. You may meet one or more attending physicians during your hospital stay.
This doctor is a faculty member in the College of Medicine and has a different specialty than your attending physician. He or she is asked by your medical team to assist in your care by providing advice and assistance to your primary medical team. A consulting physician may wear a long white lab coat.
A fellow is a doctor in the most advanced category of training, in a subspecialty. Fellows are typically responsible for helping to teach and supervise other medical team members. Fellows may wear a long white lab coat.
A resident is a doctor in an advanced level of a specialty training program. Residents are typically responsible for developing your plan of care and providing patient care under the supervision of the attending physician. A resident may wear a long white lab coat.
An intern is a doctor who is in the first year of a specialty training program. Interns are typically responsible for your day-to-day patient care under the supervision of an attending physician and are often your first contact with the medical team. An intern may wear a long white lab coat.
Medical students are typically involved with taking your history, giving your exam, gathering lab or other test results and rounding daily with you and the medical team. A medical student wears a short white lab coat.
A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a doctor. PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery and provide patient education and counseling.
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
The Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a nurse with an advanced degree who manages acute and chronic medical conditions (both physical and mental) through comprehensive history taking, performing physical exams and ordering diagnostic tests and treatments. NPs (within their scope of practice) are qualified to diagnose medical problems, order treatments, prescribe medications and make referrals for a wide range of acute and chronic medical conditions.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is a nurse with an advanced degree who is assigned to a specific population of patients. The CNS role is designed to support the integration of patient care across the cancer continuum. The goal of the CNS is to achieve continuous improvement in patient outcomes through quality nursing care.
Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
This is a special group of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) who provide comprehensive, patient-centered mental health and psychiatric care and outcome evaluation. This includes health and wellness promotion through identification of mental health issues and prevention of mental health problems.
Advanced Practice Nurses
Advanced Practice Nurses are registered nurses with advanced nursing training. Certified Nurse Practitioners (CNP) are independent practitioners with a focus on assessment, diagnosis, disease prevention and management of your condition. They partner with doctors and other team members in your care.
Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) provide education to you and the nursing staff based on their clinical expertise. APNs may wear long white lab coats with scrubs or business attire.
Pharmacists are essential to overseeing the preparation and availability of medications, but they also assist in providing patient-centered, cost-effective care.
Following your diagnosis, the pharmacists help to select and/or guide the appropriate medication, avoid medication interactions, optimize medication dosing, and tailor the therapy for your personalized needs. All patients have a pharmacist participating as part of their care team, and some round with care teams, assisting with medication therapy.
Pharmacists are also available to provide medication education to you and your family members. If you have any questions about this collaboration, please ask.
Dietetic Technician/Registered Dietitian
A dietetic technician will visit you in the morning to get your food selections for that day’s lunch and dinner and for breakfast the following morning. If you are on a restrictive diet, you may be visited by a registered dietitian for a nutritional assessment and food selection. You will be able to choose from a variety of foods based on the diet order from your doctor. If you are not in your room when the dietetic technician visits, you will receive the chef’s daily special based on your current diet orders.
Your housekeeper will clean your room daily during your stay. Housekeepers wear black and white uniforms.
Medical Social Worker and Case Manager
Medical social workers and case managers are licensed professionals who are trained to address the specific needs of patients and their families. They are available to provide counseling and help you with things like home supports, home health care, medical equipment or nursing as well as to help with financing, housing and transportation concerns.
Physical Therapist/Occupational Therapist/ Speech Language Pathologist
During your stay, you may be evaluated by a physical therapist, occupational therapist or a speech language pathologist. They will assist you in regaining normal function or improving a speech or swallowing disorder. They wear gray uniforms.
A respiratory therapist may visit with you during your stay. He or she may give you breathing treatments or oxygen. A respiratory therapist wears a royal blue uniform.
An imaging technologist may visit with you during your stay, performing tests such as X-ray, ultrasound or MRI. These tests may take place in your room or in the Radiology Department. Imaging technologists help perform the best diagnostic study for your care.
Your patient transporter takes you to different areas of the hospital for tests and procedures. A transporter wears a tan uniform. Your nurse may also travel with you, depending on your needs.
Pastoral and Spiritual Care
Our Pastoral Care chaplains understand that a serious illness or medical challenge creates many feelings and personal challenges. Chaplains are respectful of all faiths and offer compassionate presences, a listening ear, prayer, sacraments or rituals and other spiritual or emotional support. To request a visit with a chaplain or other spiritual services, let your caregiver know or call the Department of Chaplaincy at 614-293-8791 or 3-8791 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. During any other time, call the operator at 614-293-8000 or 3-8000 to contact the on-call Chaplain.
The Patient Experience Department is dedicated to making your stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our team is available to assist if you have questions or concerns regarding your care. All interactions between patients or their representatives and our staff are confidential. If you would like to speak with a patient advocate, please call Patient Experience at 614-293-8609 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After 5 p.m. and on weekends, you may contact the Administrative Nurse Supervisor at 614-293-6565.
Ohio State offers a convenient, full-service pharmacy with specialty expertise available to James and Wexner Medical Center patients that provides personalized service and is dedicated to improving patient care by easing the challenges of managing medications. Some of the benefits include: faster access to prescription medications; medication assistance programs to help lower the cost of therapy; education about your medication by board-certified pharmacists; and multiple medication delivery and pick-up options.
The Ohio State University Outpatient Pharmacy is located in The James at 460 W. 10th Ave., Suite L012, Columbus, OH 43210. It is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 614-685-1672 (Toll-Free: 1-844-511-5891) or visit go.osu.edu/retailpharmacy for more information.
Here at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, we care about the foods you eat – good nutrition is critical to the healing process. We believe that any diet can include a variety of foods with balance and moderation. Our award winning chefs have crafted specialized menus utilizing fresh, local, and natural ingredients to make your experience as healthful and enjoyable as possible.