Recently in The Burn Team Category

April 2, 2010

The Burn Team (part II)

  • Speech and language therapists and pathologists: they help the patient with swallowing issues, they can help with vocal cord issues, and communication needs (if the patient can't speak) and they can help teach the patient with a tracheotomy how to speak.
  • Respiratory therapist: they manage and administer oxygen, breathing treatments and other respiratory needs. If the patient's injury is severe; the patient might need breathing assistance with the aid of mechanical ventilator (see mechanical ventilator part I, II).
  • Dietitian: the dietitian develops a nutrition plan for the patient to promote wound healing and minimize weight loss, (see nutrition and burn).
  • Psychologist or psychiatrist: their duty is to provide counseling and support to patients with psychiatric issues or psychological distress as a result of the burn injury.
  • Social workers: they offer help with practical concerns, benefits, financial and social issues, supportive counseling in the hospital and planning of discharge from the hospital. They also help identify helpful services in the community.
  • Child life specialists: they help children and their families. Their goal is to maintain a child's development, emotional wellbeing, and the ability to cope with the illness, procedures, dressing changes and the stress associated with wound care. It is done through play, self expression and other forms of age appropriate therapy.
  • Pharmacist: they dispense and monitor the medication given to the patient and provide any information needed about their use and their side effects.
  • Case managers and discharge planners: they help with funding the services and equipments of the patient. They make sure that there is a smooth transition from the hospital to a home or to a rehabilitation center.
  • Ward clerk: involved in organizing the admission and discharge papers and direct phone calls to the patient.
  • Chaplains: they can help with the religious and spiritual needs of the patient and the family.
  • Translators: can be provided if needed by the patient or the family.
This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.
April 1, 2010

The Burn Team (part I)

Taking care of a burned patient in a hospital requires a team effort. This team is called the burn team which is a group of people with different specialties who work together to help the patient and his/her family.
The members of the burn team with some variation from one hospital to another include:


  • The patient: you are the key member of the burn team, when you are admitted you may meet different members of the team. Each team member plays an important role in your recovery. As your condition improves, you will become more independent and will help set goals for your care. Make sure to ask the team about any concern that you have. Communication and understanding are very important.

  • Family: your family is an important member of the team. They should not hesitate to ask the team about any question or voice any concern they might have. Family plays an important role in providing the encouragement and emotional support that the patient needs. They will be taught how to deal with and handle situations they might face in the burn center or at home.

  • Burn surgeons and other specialty surgeons: a burn surgeon is a surgeon who is specialized and trained in burn care, wound care, skin grafting and plastic surgery. The burn surgeon who is monitoring wounds, healing, and signs of infection is the team leader who gets help from the other specialists and staff as needed. There are other specialty surgeons who may also be involved in the team such as plastic surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, ophthalmic surgeons, vascular surgeons and others.

  • Trauma intensive care doctors: these physicians are specially trained to care for the needs of critically ill adults. They work with the burn surgeons and other specialties.

  • Pediatric intensive care doctors: they are specially trained to care for the needs of critically ill pediatric patients. They work with the burn surgeon and other specialties.

  • Medical physicians: depending upon the injury, other physicians may be consulted to help the team with the care needed for the patient, these physicians may include: internists, ophthalmologists, nephrologists, cardiologists and other specialties.

  • Nurses: the nurse will be with you for the longest period of time each day; the nurse is skilled in burn care. Patient and family cooperation will help facilitate the nurse when caring for the patient. Nursing staff may include: registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, clinical nurse educators, nurse assistants and others. The staff is usually directed by a burn center nurse manager.

  • Physical therapists: they are involved in exercises to help improve joint movement, strengthen muscles and improve general function. Physical therapy is important to prevent contracture and restricted movement. The physical therapist will work with you on an exercise program. He/she may develop a home exercise program as well as follow up with the patient after discharge.

  • Occupational therapists: they are involved in evaluating and assessing the functional abilities and what equipment is required by the patient. They make splints to help prevent and/or reduce contractures, among other responsibilities are teaching the patient how to accomplish activities of daily living and to provide a program for splinting and exercises.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.