Guide to the RCH

Staff you might meet

  • Nursing staff: nurses work in all areas of the hospital, including on the wards and in Specialist Clinics.
    An associate unit manager (AUM) is the nurse in charge of the ward or clinic for the shift and is responsible for allocating beds, staff and managing any problems that may arise. The nursing unit manager (NUM) oversees the management of the ward or department and is available during business hours. If you have concerns about the management of the ward or any complaints or issues that your child’s nurse can’t resolve, please ask to speak to the AUM or NUM.
    Nurse coordinators help to streamline the care of children with complex needs involving multiple specialties and those who might experience a long admission. They are a single point of reference for you and the team caring for your child. They will assist you with education regarding your child's condition and coordinate the discharge needs and follow up of children with complex medical problems.

    A number of advanced practice nurses regularly visit each ward and can be contacted by your child’s nurse at any time. These nurses are specialists in a variety of areas including pain management, respiratory medicine and burns.  Please speak to a nurse immediately if you are concerned about any pain your child is experiencing.

    Medical staff: a team of doctors will manage your child’s medical care and will be responsible for all treatments and investigations. Each patient will be under the care of a consultant who is a qualified paediatrician and/or a specialist in their field.  Each consultant will have a registrar and a resident working alongside. Both are qualified doctors who are completing further training. The registrar and resident will see your child most often and will complete physical assessments and order medications and tests. Fellows are doctors who have completed a number of years as a registrar and are close to the end of their training to become a consultant.  The doctors will visit once or twice a day during ward rounds and they will review and assess your child’s condition and discuss plans for care or discharge.  Ask your child’s nurse if you wish to speak to a doctor at any other time.

    Ward clerks: the ward clerk is stationed at the front of the ward and is often the first person you will meet.  A ward clerk’s role is to provide direction and assist with any queries you may have.  They have a great deal of knowledge about the hospital and life on the ward and are happy to assist patients and families.  No question is too small or too silly!  If you ask a question they don’t know the answer to, they will find someone who can help. They do a lot of the day to day administration of the ward, including keeping your child’s records up to date.  Please let the ward clerk know if any of your personal information changes.

    Ward support assistants: WSAs assist nursing staff by providing indirect patient care. They help to maintain a welcoming and clean environment for patients, staff and visitors.  They assist with meal service, transporting patients, maintaining stores and general domestic duties. We ask that you assist the WSAs by cleaning up after yourself in the parent lounge and ward pantry.

    Food/menu monitors: a menu monitor will visit each morning to give out the menu for the next day and discuss any specific food requirements your child may have.

    Volunteers: the RCH’s dedicated team of volunteers support and assist nursing staff by spending time with patients whose parents or carers are absent, making the patient's stay at the RCH as comfortable as possible. Volunteers assist with play and distraction activities in many of the Specialist Clinics and work alongside the child life therapists in ward playrooms.  Volunteers are a wonderful resource for finding out about activities happening around the hospital or services that may be useful to you. Please speak to your ward clerk if you would like a volunteer to visit and support you or your child during your stay. 

    Allied health professionals: one or more of the following allied health staff may assist with your child’s treatment and recovery:

    Dietitians: are specialists in nutrition and give recommendations for supplements and modified diets. Dietitians also offer feeding advice for infants, children and young people.

    Physiotherapists: are movement specialists who assess, diagnose and treat children to facilitate recovery and assist function. Physiotherapists help to promote full participation in daily activities through physical therapy and health education.

    Occupational therapists: are specialists in children’s daily occupations of play, self-care and productivity in their school and work tasks. Occupational therapists assist patients in their transition from hospital to their home, community and school environments. 

    Social workers: are professionally trained to help support children and families when illness impacts on family life. The service is free, confidential and available to all. Social workers offer counselling and assistance when dealing with a child’s illness, and support to families in crisis. They can assist when communicating with medical staff and act as advocates for patients and their families. Social workers facilitate connections to community resources and provide education on family issues and child health.  

    Speech pathologists: are specialists in speech, language and voice problems as well as swallowing or feeding difficulties.

    Pharmacists: look after all medication matters whilst your child is in hospital and make necessary medication arrangements for discharge. Our pharmacists visit the wards Monday to Friday or you can talk to them in the pharmacy department on the ground floor.

    Child life therapists: child development experts who work to ensure that life remains as normal as possible across the hospital environment for children and young people from birth to adolescence. The child life therapy team promote effective coping in hospital through play, self-expression activities and developmentally appropriate medical preparation and procedural support.

    Teachers: from the RCH Education Institute provide innovative education support to children and young people from kindergarten to upper secondary level to ensure their education continues in hospital.  They engage students in learning experiences that have a rich arts focus and strong links to literacy and numeracy and they support children and young people to return to kindergarten or school as passionate and engaged learners.