Inpatient Psychiatry Service | Treatment Team

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Colleen Ryan, MD, is the Medical Director of the Boston Children's Hospital Inpatient Psychiatry Service (IPS). Dr. Ryan is the senior child and adolescent psychiatrist on the unit. She is involved in monitoring all aspects of the IPS program.

Your child will be assigned a treatment team on the unit. Each team has one social worker, a psychiatry resident or fellow, psychiatry attending, and a variety of nurses and other clinicians who all help with different parts of your child's treatment.

Roles of other staff and providers

Members of each treatment team meet daily to review your child's progress, behavioral changes, medical and nutritional needs, contacts with outpatient providers and discharge planning. Because there are so many different people involved in your child's care, it is important to know what role each person plays. Below is an explanation of the staff and providers' different roles:

  • Medical Director: Oversees clinical care for all patients and academic programming for trainees. Collaborates with Patient Services and Program Director on unit operations. Provides daily supervision and consultation to IPS Team. Responsible for medical care of patients in consultation with the Pediatric Hospitalist and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. 
  • Patient Services and Program Director: Oversees 24hour nursing care, collaborates with medical director on unit operations, and helps develop treatment plans collaboratively with nursing staff and clinicians. Supervises Registered Nurses, Milieu Counselors, Group Therapists and Teachers.
  • Attending Psychiatrist: Leads your child’s team and oversees your child’s care throughout the entire hospitalization. As Boston Children’s is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, your child will have either a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow or a General Psychiatry Resident assigned to their clinical team. They are supervised daily by the Attending Psychiatrist.
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner:  Performs daily assessments, medication evaluations, prescriptions, and discharge planning as part of your child’s team under the supervision of the Attending Psychiatrist.
  • Social Worker: Will guide you through the hospitalization, providing therapeutic interventions with you and your child, and coordinates your child’s care including disposition planning.
  • Pediatric Care Team: A Pediatric Hospitalist and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner provide a medical assessment and treatment as indicated for all newly admitted patients. They stay involved to addresses medical issues during your child's stay, communicating with your child’s outpatient primary care providers and/or hospital consultant(s) as needed.
  • Nursing Team: This group of Registered Nurses and Milieu Counselors provides direct supervision and daily care of your child and helps develop your child’s treatment plan.
  • Dietitian: Addresses your child’s nutritional needs or eating issues, if applicable, and will monitor weight and vital signs and adjust meal plans as necessary.
  • Recreational Therapist and an Expressive Arts Therapist: Provide helpful interventions such as mindfulness techniques, yoga, exercise, art, music, drama, and/or dance as means to promote expressing emotions safely and to develop new healthy coping skills.
  • Teachers: Reviews your child’s learning needs and with your permission coordinates with your child’s school, and provides monitoring and tutoring in a classroom on weekdays.
  • Occupational Therapist: Assesses your child’s needs to incorporate sensory-based interventions (touch, smell, sound, movement, and oral sensory) to help your child improve regulation of their thoughts, feelings, and actions.
  • Human Rights Officer: Assures all patients are advised on their human rights. During the course of your child’s hospitalization, they will assist in the resolution of concerns a patient or caregiver may have regarding these rights.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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