Patient Care Settings

Nursing at Kennedy KriegerAs Kennedy Krieger nurses, we play key roles in the following settings:

Inpatient Programs

We provide intensive, around-the-clock therapeutic care for children and adolescents with complex medical conditions at Kennedy Krieger’s 70-bed, specialty pediatric hospital. We offer inpatient care for individuals from birth to age 21, including those requiring ventilator assistance or tracheostomy tubes, for the following:

  • Brain disorders and injuries, including low responsiveness
  • Spinal cord disorders and injuries
  • Medical fragility
  • Chronic pain
  • Feeding disorders
  • Severe and self-injurious behavioral disorders

As inpatient nurses, our role in the care of a patient starts before the patient and his or her family members even arrive by reviewing, with a clinical care manager, the patient's medical history and the patient’s family’s goals for the inpatient stay. We then work with the inpatient team to coordinate the patient’s treatment plan.

Upon admission, each patient is assigned a primary nurse. In conjunction with the inpatient treatment team, we work with the patient and his or her family members to develop a nursing plan of care, which guides the patient’s nursing care throughout the admission. We monitor the patient’s progress toward the goals outlined in the nursing care plan, and we adjust interventions to assist the patient and his or her family members in achieving the goals of the admission.

During the entire inpatient stay, licensed nurses are assigned to the patient for 24 hours a day to perform the interventions stated in the patient’s plan of care and to make adjustments to the plan as indicated by the patient's medical condition. They’re responsible for assessing the patient’s condition, administering medications, performing treatments, obtaining lab specimens, implementing interdisciplinary team protocols and providing training to the patient’s family upon discharge.

Licensed nurses are assisted by certified nursing assistants. Together, they maintain the patient in a safe environment, assist the patient with daily hygiene needs, eliminate pain and discomfort, and help the patient and his or her family members to be as comfortable as possible in the hospital environment.

Pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) are also assigned to patients admitted to the inpatient unit. A PNP works in collaboration with an attending physician to provide the daily medical management and oversight needed to achieve the goals of the admission, and to ensure a coordinated discharge back to the community and referring physician.

Some of us are assigned to the inpatient rehabilitation and feeding continuums to serve as clinical care managers. In that case, our role is to facilitate a patient's admission, ongoing stay and discharge plan by working with the patient’s family members, team members, referral sources and insurance company.

PNPs on the inpatient neurobehavioral unit provide medical management in collaboration with psychiatrists and other members of the interdisciplinary team. They also participate in discharge planning focused on the medical needs of the child.

Outpatient Programs

Those of us assigned to various outpatient areas have expertise in a variety of pediatric disabilities and medications, and in the treatment needs of the patients seen in Kennedy Krieger’s individual medical, rehabilitation and mental health clinics. We triage patients, perform nursing assessments and procedures, and assist with examinations and treatments.

As outpatient nurses, we educate patients and their family members about specific medications and treatments, and we serve as resources to members of the community who may interact with our patients and their family members. Additionally, we provide patients and their family members with discharge instructions and/or education materials, and we perform medication reconciliation with patients as part of the triage and discharge process.

Many of the outpatient clinics have certified nurse practitioners who provide care to patients in outpatient settings. They evaluate patients and manage the specialty care needs of patients and patients’ family members.

Day Hospital

As day hospital nurses, we are vital components of Kennedy Krieger’s Specialized Transition Program (STP). We ensure that patients transition back to school programs that are able to meet patients’ health needs, and we serve as resources for other day hospital staff members on health-related issues.

As staff members of the STP, we prepare patients to transition from the medical setting to their homes and communities by helping them incorporate medical treatments into their school day. We assist patients in becoming more independent in self-care needs, and we educate patients’ parents in health-related activities.

Upon a patient’s discharge from the STP, his or her STP nurse communicates directly with the patient’s community school nurse about the patient’s needs and abilities, enabling the patient’s treatment plan to continue in the community setting.

Nursing Jobs at Kennedy Krieger