Each time you interact with a health care provider, you are actually being cared for by a team of people. The team approach is a practical solution to the complexity of modern medicine and it’s often an advantage for patients to have the input of several providers. In a hospital setting, the team members who take charge of your care will likely have very different training levels, skill sets, and responsibilities.
Patients and their loved ones often struggle to understand the titles and the job descriptions of the people walking in and out of their hospital rooms. This lack of understanding of caregivers’ roles can not only be frustrating – it can allow harm to reach patients.
It is vital to have a basic understanding of how hospital personnel are organized, and who answers to whom. This is the hospital hierarchy. Understanding it will assist you in communicating effectively, asking the right questions of the right person, and getting the help you need. You don’t need to know every detail about each staff member – a little information in this area goes a long way.
After completing this course, you will be able to:
- Understand the hospital hierarchy
- Approach the appropriate staff member to help address your needs
- Recognize the important role of rapid response teams
Taking The Course
This course has three lessons, each broken down into several topics. You will be directed through these in sequential order – you can not skip ahead. When you complete a topic, click on the “Mark as Complete” button at the bottom of the page. This will move you to the next topic. You can always go back and review previous lesson materials.
Test Your Knowledge
You will be presented with a brief quiz at the end of each lesson. Use this post lesson assessment to help ensure that you understand the material before moving to the next lesson. Once you have answered all the questions correctly please click the “view questions” button to read brief explanations of the correct answers.
Certificate of Completion
Upon successfully completing the quiz for the final lesson, you will be presented with the opportunity to obtain a Certificate of Completion. Just click on the link and print the certificate, which will include your name and the date.
Julia A. Hallisy, DDS, President, The Empowered Patient Coalition
Helen Haskell, MA, Mothers Against Medical Error (MAME)
Kathleen M. Burke, RN-BC, BSN, Staff Nurse/Patient Safety Fellow, University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center
Rosemary Gibson, author of Wall of Silence and The Treatment Trap and leader of national quality and safety initiatives at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for 16 years
Wendy S. Madigosky, MD, MSPH, Foundations of Doctoring Curriculum Director, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine