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pressures, and other stresses may make it difficult for some family members to assume this role. Whether it is you or another family member, make sure that person has the motivation and availability to perform the task.

Identify Medical Team Members and Their Roles

You will meet several members of the survivor’s medical team, all of whom have important roles. Be sure to write down the names and phone numbers of every member on the team. Your team may include some or all of the following (in order of usual appearance):

Emergency Physician—doctor responsible for providing immediate care when patient is brought to the emergency room; will coordinate subsequent care

Attending Physician—the doctor functioning in the primary role

Neurosurgeon—can also be responsible for coordinating medical treatment of the patient, deciding whether surgery is necessary and performing surgery when needed

Neurologist—doctor specializing in problems in the nervous system; may help coordinate neurological care, medications, and testing. Neurologists may also coordinate neurological rehabilitation and management of neurological issues over the near and long term.

Anesthesiologist—monitors the patient’s anesthesia during surgery

Plastic Surgeon—responsible for reconstruction of damaged skin and supporting tissues.

Physiatrist—doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, often responsible for coordinating medical treatment

Primary Nurse—provides and coordinates patient care, serves as a liaison to the medical team, and is often a patient advocate. Nurses are very knowledgeable and good resources for information.


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