The Boston Children's Heart Center is the largest pediatric heart program in the United States. Our team has consistently been ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in recognition of their commitment to finding solutions for every patient - no matter how complex the condition or situation.
Our team includes:
- More than 75 cardiologists
- 7 cardiac surgeons
- 12 cardiac anesthesiologists
- Over 300 cardiac nurses
For a closer look at the clinicians within our Heart Center, you can view each team by the specialty program listed below
Division of Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging
Patient Care areas
Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
Cardiac Inpatient Unit
Cardiology Outpatient Clinic
Your Care Team
There are many specialists who assist patients and families during a hospitalization at Boston Children’s Hospital.
On our Heart Center team, we have medical experts and other professionals to help with your family's well-being and peace of mind.
- Cardiac surgeons
- Cardiovascular nurses
- Nurse practitioners
- Child life specialists
- Child psychiatric consultants
- Hospital volunteers
- Licensed clinical social workers
- Resource specialists
- Clinical dietitian
- Patient care coordinators
Cardiologists diagnose and manage heart disease. Many specialize in one aspect of heart care, such as catheterization or echocardiography (see our glossary on Page 10). Boston Children’s has more than 70 cardiologists on staff. You will have a primary cardiologist, but other cardiologists may also be involved in different parts of your treatment plan.
Cardiac surgeons perform operations to treat heart conditions. We have seven heart surgeons on staff at Boston Children’s, making ours one of the world’s largest specialized cardiac surgery programs. We also have a long history in the field: The first operation to correct a pediatric congenital heart defect took place at Boston Children’s back in 1938.
More than 300 specialized cardiovascular nurses work here at Boston Children’s. They assess each patient’s condition and provide direct care, as well as emotional support, information, education and care coordination. A nurse will be responsible for your care at all times.
Nurse practitioners are nurses who have advanced education and specialized skills in cardiac care. They participate in many different parts of the diagnosis, management and care coordination process for patients with heart disease.
Physician Assistants (PA)
Physician Assistants practice medicine under the direct supervision of physicians and surgeons. As part of the cardiac care team at Boston Children’s, PAs focus on the evaluation of new and established patients, diagnostic interpretation of studies, and the implementation of treatment plans for patients with complex congenital heart disease.
Our anesthesiologists have special training in the use of anesthesia for cardiac procedures—not only in children, but also in patients of all ages. Here at Boston Children’s, we use a wide range of anesthesia techniques during surgery—from light sedation to general anesthesia—to meet the special needs of each patient. We also have pain management specialists that can minimize discomfort from medical procedures and help patients cope with pain while recovering.
Clinical dietitians are registered nutrition professionals who will address specific diet concerns. Our dietitians work with you to identify and manage your nutritional needs.
Perfusionists are members of the Cardiac Operating Room team. They set up, monitor and control the heart-lung bypass machine, which is used whenever it’s necessary to support or temporarily “step in for” a patient’s circulatory system or respiratory functions. When a patient is on the machine, the perfusionist controls his or her blood pressure, temperature and other vital signs under the direction of the team physicians.
Boston Children’s resource specialists are on hand to help you with practical concerns (such as housing and transportation). We recommend that you call us at 617-355-7965 before you come to the hospital so that we can make all the necessary arrangements prior to your arrival.
Patient care coordinators
Patient care coordinators are nurses who will help you with any special discharge planning arrangements that may be required. Coordinators will also communicate any important medical information relating to your hospitalization to your insurance company.
Psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors
Child psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors from Boston Children’s Department of Psychiatry are available to provide emotional and supportive care for patients and their families. If you would like to work with a mental health professional, your doctor or nurse can help you set up an appointment.
Licensed clinical social workers
Social workers are experts in helping families adjust to the emotional impact of an illness and hospitalization. Because every patient and situation is different, a social worker will be available to help determine your specific needs and assist you with them.
Boston Children’s interpreters speak more than 35 languages, including American Sign Language. Spanish-speaking interpreters and social workers are available 24 hours a day, and other interpreters are available on an as-needed basis. If you will require an interpreter, please call
our Interpreter Services at 617-355-7198 prior to coming to the hospital so we can be ready for you when you arrive.