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Pediatric hospital medicine is inpatient care for children. Pediatric hospitalists are physicians trained to care for acute and chronic diseases in infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatric hospitalists treat children in a number of different hospital departments, including newborn nursery, labor and delivery, and emergency department. After a child is admitted to the hospital, the child may be visited by a pediatric hospitalist to coordinate his or her treatment.
Pediatric hospitalists regularly monitor patients and assess patients' health throughout their hospital stay. Pediatric hospitalists provide direct patient care as needed, such as prescribing medications, ordering tests, and performing procedures like laceration repair and catheter placement. Pediatric hospitalists communicate with patients' pediatricians, as well as specialists such as pediatric radiologists and pediatric surgeons.
Pediatric hospitalists strive to enhance children's hospital experience by improving patient health, safety, and engagement. For example, an improvement could be a data-driven initiative to increase in-hospital vaccination rates to surpass those of the previous year. Other changes may be prompted by observation, such as when a pediatric hospitalist notices that additional family or child-life services are needed. Pediatric hospitalists are ultimately responsible for establishing and enforcing pediatric hospital care standards.
When a patient's hospitalization is complete, pediatric hospitalists help ensure a successful return home. They schedule upcoming medical appointments and update the patient's care team accordingly. Pediatric hospitalists frequently work with pediatric subspecialists, child-life specialists, and therapists, among other medical professionals.