Team Roles:

Attending Physician
The attending physician has completed specialized training in critical care and is in charge of providing care to all patients in the ICU. The attending on duty generally rotates each week.

Fellows have completed both medical school and residency, and are going through extra training to become a critical care specialist.

Advanced Practice Clinicians
Advanced Practice Clinicians are physician assistants and nurse practitioners with specialized critical care training. These providers care for critically-ill patients in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Cardiovascular Surgery Recovery Room, and Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit. APCs are responsible for rounding with a multidisciplinary team, comprehensively managing patients, interpreting clinical data for diagnostic and treatment purposes, performing bedside procedures, and working collaboratively with residents, fellows, and attending physicians. There are 24 APCs working in the Surgical Critical Care Department.

Residents are physicians who have completed medical school, but are training to become independent doctors. There are many residents in the ICU who will work with y ou during your stay.

Medical Student
Medical students are in school and training to become physicians.

Our nurses are highly trained to provide excellent care to critically ill patients day and night. Nurses are dressed in light blue.

Nursing Director & Assistant Nursing Director
Nursing directors ensure the safety and efficiency of the unit. The directors are dressed in steel gray. 

Respiratory Therapists
Respiratory Therapists assist the team in managing patients breathing and respiratory problems. This includes providing oxygen, assisting patients with coughing and deep breathing, administering inhaled medications, and poroviding more advanced support such as mechanical ventilation.

Patient Care Technician
Patient Care technicians help the team with all aspects of basic patients care (bathing, blood draws). They are dressed in royal blue. 

Pharmacists help the team manage patients' complex medication lists, ensure appropriate dosing of medications, manage side effects, and prevent drug interactions.

Physical Therapist/Occupational Therapists
Physical therapists help people maintain or regain their mobility and strength. Occupational therapists help patients who need to develop skills for activities of daily living such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc.

Social Worker
Social workers help patients and families with services that are needed when they leave the hospital. 


The Bioethics Committee Patients and their families are sometimes faced with difficult and confusing ethical issues related to medical care. The staff of the Center for Ethics at MedStar Washington Hospital Center is available to help you, your family and your caregivers with difficult issues such as:

  • How can I be sure that my wishes, as outlined in my living will or durable power of attorney, will be followed?
  • What can I do when my health care values and those of my physician are in conflict?
  • When is it justifiable to withdraw life-preserving therapies?

Spiritual Care

The Spiritual Care Department represents a variety of faith traditions and seeks to provide special events and services that give observance to the importance of spirituality and faith in healing. Chaplains provide spiritual and emotional support to you and your family on request. A chaplain can be contacted at any time by notifying your unity clerk or Nurse. 


A dietician can help ensure that patients receive the type of nutrition that is best for their current condition.

Speech and Language Specialists

Speech-language specialists treat speech, language, cognitive communication, voice, swallowing, and fluency disorders, as well as related conditions.