The University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center has many teams, all working together to provide the best possible care for your child and family. The roles of some team members are described below:
Pediatric cardiologists are the leaders of the medical team. They diagnose and treat congenital heart disease, perform heart catheterizations, decide with the surgeon about heart surgery, and provide care before and after heart surgery. Some pediatric cardiologists implant pacemakers and defibrillators. Meet our cardiologists.
Cardiologists work closely with other doctors-in-training such as pediatric cardiology fellows and pediatric residents. Pediatric cardiology fellows are pediatricians who are completing a three-year training program to become pediatric cardiologists.
Pediatric Cardiac Surgeons
Pediatric cardiac surgeons are leaders of the surgical team. They work with the pediatric cardiologists to decide the best course of treatment for the patients and to care for the patients before and after surgery. They perform the actual heart surgery in the operating room. Meet our surgeons.
The surgeons work closely with doctors-in training, such as the pediatric cardiovascular surgery fellows. Our pediatric cardiovascular surgery fellows are thoracic surgeons who have completed a general surgical residency (5-7 years of training) and thoracic surgery residency (2-3 years of training), and are performing a one-year training program to become pediatric cardiovascular surgeons.
Pediatric residents have completed medical school and are completing a three-year training program to become pediatricians.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Pediatric nurse practitioners are Masters-prepared nurses who provide advanced nursing care. Pediatric nurse practitioners work closely with attending physicians and jointly manage the care that is provided in the general care unit after heart surgery and pre- and post-heart catheterization.
Pediatric nurses provide expert nursing care to children and families using state-of-the-art technology. Registered nurses provide care in our clinic and procedure areas as well as in our intensive care and general care units. They are specially-trained eyes and ears available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Child Life Therapists
Child life specialists help support children during stressful hospital experiences. This is done largely through play and other fun activities.
Medical Social Workers
Medical social workers also help support children and families during stressful hospital experiences. They offer counseling and assist with lodging, finances, insurance, and link children/families with resources near home.
Nutritionists assess the dietary needs of children with heart problems and suggest diet changes. They help with infant formulas and write recipes for high calorie or other special formulas. They suggest diets for children with obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Clinical pharmacists have advanced education in medication use. They help decide which medications are best for your child.
Practice Management/Discharge Planning Nurses
These nurses work with you and the medical team to plan for your child's needs at home. They can arrange for visiting nurses and supplies or equipment as needed.
You will also meet many other team members such as clerks, clinic coordinators, medical assistants, medical technicians, respiratory therapists, and others. A listing of our physicians/providers is also available.