Your Health Team
Your attending physician has primary responsibility for your care. All tests, medications and procedures are ordered by your doctor. As a teaching facility, GW Hospital also has outstanding medical personnel in training who rotate through the hospital, assisting with patient care and learning from expert members of the hospital staff.
Being in a teaching hospital has many advantages for our patients. The presence of people in training means that patients receive closer, more comprehensive attention to their needs. Our facility is devoted to understanding and applying advanced scientific knowledge to patient care.
Our nursing staff is committed to providing comprehensive, compassionate and individualized care to all our patients. A registered nurse will perform a thorough nursing assessment after which a plan of care will be developed with you. Together, you will work toward achieving your mutually determined goals. Other caregivers, under the direction of the registered nurse, may be assigned to provide some of your care.
Every patient unit has a nursing manager who has overall responsibility for the nursing care provided. If you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with your nurse.
The hospital maintains a staff of registered dietitians to provide nutrition assessments and recommendations during your hospital stay. A dietitian may visit you to discuss your nutritional needs and advise you on making healthy food choices from our Room Service dining program.
Case managers work with doctors and other clinical staff to help patients and their families make decisions about their stay at the hospital, and work with community resources to arrange for continued care after discharge. Some of these resources include home care, nursing homes and caregiver support groups. Case managers have training in assisting with a broad range of individual and family concerns, including resource materials for community agencies and other referral information.
A member of the housekeeping team cleans your room daily. Please inform your nurse if you have an immediate housekeeping need.
While you are in the hospital, it may be helpful to have someone with whom you can share your emotional and spiritual concerns. Chaplains from varying faiths and traditions are available on-site during the day and for emergencies during the evenings and weekends. You can contact the chaplain directly through the chaplain request line at 202-715-5329.
Palliative care is a specialty that focuses on improving quality of life for patients and families coping with serious illness. The goal is to relieve pain and other distressing symptoms, such as nausea and fatigue, and provide assistance with emotional, practical and spiritual concerns. Palliative professionals also can help with guidance when making difficult treatment decisions. Palliative care can be delivered at any stage of a potentially life-limiting illness and can be provided along with curative treatments. Please contact the GW Hospital Palliative Care Department at 202-715-4337.
Volunteers contribute many hours of service to the hospital. They supplement the services of the hospital staff in many ways, including delivering books and magazines to you from the volunteer library, accompanying you to the interfaith chapel and visiting with patients. If you need a volunteer’s help or know of a patient who may appreciate a friendly visit, call 202-715-4188 during business hours.
We also offer patients therapists who practice Reiki, a relaxation therapy. To schedule a visit, call the Reiki Referral Line at 202-715-5314.
We provide certified pet therapists who conduct visits on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings. Pet therapy provides support for human physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning. To schedule a visit, call the Volunteer Director at 202-715-4188.
The hospital offers a wide range of rehabilitation treatments and services including physical and occupational therapy, speech and language pathology and a hand therapy program. Your attending physician may order these services for you if needed. For more information on GW Hospital’s Rehabilitation Services, please contact 202-715-5277.
Other healthcare professionals may visit you during your stay. Also, The George Washington University Hospital family includes many behind-the-scenes workers such as accountants, engineers, secretaries and others who contribute to your hospital experience.
International Medicine Program
The George Washington University Hospital created the International Medicine Program to serve the medical needs of international patients in the DC metropolitan area and abroad. The Department can provide you with a personal liaison to assist you with language interpretation, scheduling, medical second opinions, cost estimates and insurance settlements. Additionally, our staff gladly will assist you and your family or friends with air and ground transportation, hotel accommodations and leisure recommendations. Please contact 202-715-5100.