Your Care Providers
Understanding the Roles of Physicians Participating in Your Care
While you are a patient at Catawba Valley Medical Center, several physicians
may participate in your care. The following descriptions may help you
understand the roles and responsibilities of these physicians.
Attending Physician (may also be known as Admitting Physician)
The Attending Physician is the doctor who admitted you to the medical
center. Attending Physicians may be your primary care physician or family
doctor, particularly if you have a medical illness. If your family doctor
does not admit patients to the hospital, you may be admitted by one of
the physicians who serve as a Hospitalists (see description below). If
you are having a surgical procedure, your Attending Physician may be the
surgeon who is planning on performing the surgical procedure.
NOTE:If you wish to change your Attending Physician for any reason while you
are staying at Catawba Valley Medical Center, please notify the nurse
caring for you. Another physician must agree to serve as your Attending
Physician before a change can be made. Your nurse would be happy to help
you communicate and coordinate your wish to change physicians.
Your attending physician may decide to ask another physician to participate
in your care. This physician may examine you, may order or perform diagnostic
tests and recommend a course of treatment to your attending physician.
Your attending physician considers the recommendations of the consulting
physician and makes the final decision.
Emergency Room Physician
The Emergency Department physician manages your care while you are a patient
in the Emergency Department or until your doctor takes over your care
there. Once you have been admitted, the Emergency Department physician
transfers the responsibility for your care to the Attending Physician.
Primary Care or Family Physician
Your Primary Care Physician or Family Doctor, is the physician who cares
for you on a regular basis for your annual physicals, or well exams, and
treats you for illnesses that do not require admission to a hospital.
Your Primary Care Physician may admit you to the hospital or may request
that a Hospitalist admit or manage your care while you at the hospital.
Catawba Valley Medical Center’s Hospitalists are a team of internal
medicine physicians who serve as patients’ Attending Physicians
while they are hospitalized, but return them to the care of their family
physicians following discharge. Our hospitalists work within a multidisciplinary
hospital-based team of doctors, nurses, social workers, pastoral and hospice
care specialists, rehabilitation therapists and dietitians. Together,
this team monitors patient progress, provides appropriate treatment, and
charts a course for recovery and care. It also provides a vital communication
and transition link with post-hospital treatment teams within the community.
Patient Care Professionals
Each patient is assigned a Registered Nurse who is responsible for the
overall coordination of care from admission to discharge. In addition
to your doctors and nurses, your care team is composed of a variety of
highly trained technologists, therapists, and other healthcare professionals
to meet your individual needs. Each employee wears a badge that should
be easily visible to patients. The following uniform guidelines may be
helpful in identifying various professionals:
Registered Nurses: purple or purple & white
Respiratory Therapy: light blue
Radiology: royal blue
Physical Therapy: raspberry
Surgical Suite: light blue
Laboratory Services: dark gray & turqoise
If you, for any reason, wish to change your attending physician while
you are an inpatient at Catawba Valley Medical Center, you may request
the change through the nurse caring for you. Before a change can be made,
however, another physician must agree to serve as your attending physician.
Your nurse can help you communicate and coordinate your wishes.