The Comprehensive Care Team Members
The comprehensive care team members are experts in bleeding disorders. They know about emergency care and care to prevent future problems. They can also offer you support and help educate the public about bleeding disorders.
Your main doctor is called your primary doctor. This team member may be an internist, a pediatrician, or a hematologist. An internist is an expert in medical diseases. A pediatrician is an expert in children’s growth and development and children's diseases. Here is a more detailed look at a hematologist and other team members:
Hematologist – is an expert in blood problems. The hematologist may be your main doctor. You and your family should know exactly what parts of your care are provided by the hematologist. For example, do you call your hematologist when you have a fever or just when you are bleeding?
Nurse Coordinator – is often the major link between the person with a bleeding disorder and the whole team. The nurse arranges tests and check ups, refers you to other experts such as the dentist when needed, and keeps records. The nurse teaches you and your family the basics of your disorder and how to treat yourself. He or she will check with you to see if your treatment is working. The nurse can provide information about your bleeding disorder to your local doctor, your school, or your job.
Social Worker – knows how your bleeding disorder can affect your life and how you feel. The social worker can help with both a crisis and the day to day problems with family, school, or work. He or she can assist you with insurance, financial issues, and government programs. One goal of this team member is to help prevent problems in your life, not just the ones in your body.
Orthopedist – is an expert in diseases of the bones and joints. With the advice of the hematologist, the orthopedist may do surgery on damaged joints. The orthopedist can order physical therapy to decrease pain, to prevent further damage, or to fix joint problems.
Physical Therapist – tests joints and muscles and measures how well you can move. This team member helps plan exercise programs and gives advice on how to take part in sports. The physical therapist may use ultrasound, water therapy, massage, or other means to improve joints and muscles.
Occupational Therapist (OT) – teaches you how to overcome any loss of movement or skills. The occupational therapist can teach someone who has problems moving how to manage daily tasks. Sometimes this team member helps the person with a bleeding disorder adjust to a change in the type of work she or he can do.
Dentist – is an expert in teeth and gums. Your local dentist may work with the one at the HTC to provide your routine check ups. Since the HTC dentist knows a lot about bleeding in the mouth, he or she often teaches how to take care of your teeth.
Geneticist – can explain how your bleeding disorder is passed from one generation to the next. The geneticist can draw a family tree that shows who is at risk for having the disorder or being a carrier. The geneticist can counsel a couple planning to have a baby. Sometimes the HTC nurse, social worker, or doctor helps with this service.
Psychologist or psychiatrist – helps with emotional or mental problems.
Lab services – do the blood tests to check for and treat a bleeding disorder. Lab tests can also tell if you are having any kidney, liver, or immune system problems.
Radiological services – will make any x rays if ordered by your doctor.