Find out how a pediatric hospitalist can improve your child’s care
If you have a child, you know the anxiety that can come from leaving them
in someone else’s care. Are they qualified to care for my child?
Will they provide enough attention?
At St. Joseph Health hospitals, the answer to both questions is a resounding yes.
Our pediatrics teams are trained and ready to provide the medical care
your child needs, with the same care and consideration we give our own
little ones. We think of you like family, and we want you to think of
us that way, too.
That’s why we are introducing one important member of the pediatrics
team who may be new to you: the pediatric hospitalist.
The Role of a Pediatric Hospitalist
You probably know that a pediatrician provides medical care for babies,
children and young adults. A pediatric hospitalist does the same, but
exclusively in a hospital.
He or she follows young patients from admission to discharge, serving as
their physician while they are in the hospital and checking on them to
make sure they get the care they need.
Raymond Lejano, MD, is one such physician. Since March 2014, he has been serving patients
as one of our five core pediatric hospitalists at
Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Lejano explains that pediatric hospitalists care for children in the
emergency department or when they are admitted to the pediatric floor.
They also see babies in the newborn nursery, attend high-risk deliveries,
and cover the intensive care nursery at night. “This job has many
hats,” he says.
Pediatric hospitalists coordinate with a child’s pediatrician outside
the hospital, updating them on the child’s condition, getting more
information, and discussing the treatment plan. Dr. Lejano says he also
has phone consultations with pediatricians both in the area and as far
away as Mendocino and Fortuna.
However, he sees communicating with parents as his most important job.
“One of the scariest things for parents is when they don’t
know what’s wrong with their child,” he says. Dr. Lejano takes
time to explain why the child is in the hospital, what treatment he recommends,
and what the goal is. “I try to explain every detail as much as
possible to their comfort level,” he says.
The Benefits of Pediatric Hospitalists
The most obvious benefit is that pediatric hospitalists are physically
present around the clock. Dr. Lejano says this allows him to visit patients
multiple times a day rather than just once a day, as a regular pediatrician
on rounds would. “We can pay that much more attention to them, and
I think that’s comforting to the parents,” he says.
Because pediatric hospitalists attend mostly to children who are very ill,
they are very comfortable with and knowledgeable about the particular
considerations. “We work with sick kids all the time,” Dr.
Lejano says. “We have more experience dealing with more severe and
more obscure illnesses.”
They may also help your child return home sooner. Patients treated by hospitalists
were in the hospital about half a day less, according to a 2011 study
Annals of Internal Medicine.
Forming Close Bonds
Dr. Lejano says his favorite part of working at a community hospital like
Santa Rosa Memorial is the relationships he forms with kids and their
families. For example, one patient, a boy with severe asthma, was recently
granted a trip to Disneyland from the Make-A-Wish® Foundation. When
the family found out, they wanted to share the good news with Dr. Lejano
and his team first and foremost.
“He and his mom stopped by our floor to let everyone know, because
he was so excited,” Dr. Lejano says.
Other St. Joseph Health hospitals that include pediatric hospitalists on
their care team include:
Covenant Children’s in Texas and
St. Joseph Hospital, Orange.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.