Your healthcare team

Your child’s medical team consists of different health professionals who are experts in their fields. They each bring different skills in managing your child’s treatment and care.

The team may include doctors, treating specialists, nurses and pharmacists, social workers and psychologists, dietitians, and other allied health professionals.  

Your doctor will communicate with the team and design a program tailored to your child. They will outline that program to you and help you understand what is happening and what can be expected.   

You are also part of this team. 

Consultant Haematologist/Oncologist    

The consultant is the leader of your team and is the primary doctor responsible for treating  your child. All consultant paediatric haematologists/oncologists are paediatricians who are specialised in treating cancer and blood disorders in children. 
 
A group of doctors work alongside your consultant, called Resident Medical Officers (RMOs), Registrars, or Fellows and assist in the planning and delivery of treatment. 

Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC)

A nurse who has completed an advanced degree program and specialty training in caring for children with cancer.

Pharmacist 

A pharmacist is trained to prepare the medicines and nutritional support that your child will need. They monitor patient drug use, which is necessary for the safe and proper administration of medication.  

Clinical Research Associate 

A person who is trained to keep track of data related to your child being enrolled and treated on a clinical trial. 

Allied Health professionals 

Child Life specialist 

A person who has special training in child development and how children react to illness and being in hospital. A child life specialist helps children to cope with cancer and its treatment. 
 

Dietitian 

A person who is trained to assess your child’s nutritional needs and weight. The dietitian also helps to provide teaching and support about eating and drinking when your child goes home.

Social worker

A social worker will meet every family who receives a childhood cancer diagnosis at the hospitals. Their main role is to help families adjust to the new diagnosis and support them throughout their child’s treatment.

Having a child in hospital can be stressful, and having someone outside of the family/community to talk to can be helpful.

Social workers can support families with the different issues they may face such as adjusting routines for hospital appointments, managing treatment related distress, and coordinating home and hospital life.

If you would like to talk more about how a social worker can support you, please request a member of your treating team to contact the oncology social worker.  

Psychologist 

Paediatric clinical psychology is a specialised area of practice that focuses on addressing the psychological aspects of illness, injury, and the promotion of health behaviours in children, adolescents, and families in a paediatric health setting. 

Play therapist

Play therapy is a form of therapy that uses play activities to help children through mental and emotional issues. Play therapy can help children with cancer express their trauma, negative emotions, and then integrate their experiences in a healthier way. 

Music therapist

Music Therapists use music in a planned and creative way to improve and maintain health and wellbeing. 

School teacher/liaison 

A person who works with the hospital to help your child keep up with their schoolwork during their time in hospital. They will also liaise on your child’s behalf with their school. 

Occupational therapist 

Occupational therapy helps children who have a change in mental or physical function regain skills for everyday activities, whether that's high-level tasks or basic functions. 

For example, the can provide strategies or equipment to help patients with basic tasks like getting dressed on their own. 

Physiotherapy 

It is common for children and adolescents who have cancer treatment to experience changes in their ability to move and be physically active. 

Physiotherapists can help promote independence for your child with everyday activities. 

Aboriginal Health Worker

Aboriginal health workers can provide cultural support to patients, their families and in some instances their communities.

This may include:

  • general support for patient/parents/carers
  • additional support for extended family
  • liaise with community when/if required
  • advocate for your child and your family
  • support families when they receive medical information regarding their child
  • support/educate staff on cultural matters.

Other team members 

Chaplain

Our hospitals have a 24-hour chaplaincy service to provide support to families, regardless of their religion or cultural background. 

Interpreter services

Interpreters are available for face-to-face or phone interpreting 24/7. A sign language interpreter can also be arranged. 

Patient's friend

The 'Patient's friend' liaises between the patient, the family and the hospital to provide support and information about hospital procedures, services and facilities. 

Volunteers and Ward Grannies

Volunteers are unpaid helpers who can assist with non-medical activities for your child. It may be possible for a volunteer to stay with your child if you need to leave for a limited time. 

Ward Grannies are trained volunteers who can stay with your child three to four days per week when family and friends are not available or when you need a break. 

Last updated Wednesday 26th June 2024