Who's Who of Hospital Staff

Many different staff work in our hospital. This information describes some of our staff and how they care for you.

Staff should have photo identification and a name badge which describes their role. You can ask staff their name and role if the badge isn’t clear.

If you want to meet or talk to a particular staff member please ask your doctor or nurse.


Staff Specialist or Visiting Medical Officer (VMO) or Consultant

  • A Specialist is an expert doctor. Each Specialist does a particular type of medicine. For example, a cardiologist specialises in the heart.
  • A Staff Specialist is a Specialist employed at a hospital.
  • A VMO or Consultant is a Specialist who is in private practice but they also work in the hospital.
  • The Specialist plans a patient’s treatment and is responsible for their care. 
  • The Specialist is usually on the ward only when checking on their patients (this is called doing rounds).
  • If you want to talk with your Specialist, ask a registrar, resident or intern to arrange a call or meeting.


  • A Registrar is a doctor training to be a Specialist.
  • Registrars work with Specialists, other staff and the patient to make decisions about patient care. 
  • Registrars look at your day-to-day care.
  • Registrars are in the hospital most of the time. If you want a medical update, ask your Registrar.
  • Registrars work in different areas of the hospital every three to six months as part of their training.

Interns and Residents

  • Interns are doctors in their first year after finishing university.
  • Residents are doctors who have had at least one year working in a hospital.
  • Interns and Residents do much of the day-to-day work planned by the Specialist. They can give you some information about your care but they don’t make big decisions about your care.
  • Interns and Residents move to different areas every three months as part of their training.

Medical Students

  • Medical Students are not yet doctors. They are training to be doctors. They are from the universities linked with St Vincent’s. 
  • They talk to and examine patients as part of their training. We will ask you first if a student can see you. You can say no if you don’t want a student to see you.

Nurse Unit Manager / Nurse-in-charge

  • A Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) is responsible for the day-to-day running of each ward. They are senior nurses. You can ask the NUM questions if your nurse can’t help you.
  • There is a Nurse-in-Charge when the NUM is not there. The Nurse-in-Charge manages each ward or each clinic.


  • Nurses care for you on the ward and in clinics. In a ward there is usually one nurse looking after you each day for each shift.
  • If you have questions or concerns, and your nurse can’t help you, then ask to speak to the NUM or Nurse-in-Charge.
  • A Registered Nurse (RN) has a nursing degree from university.  An Enrolled Nurse (EN) has completed a certificate course. RNs and ENs care for you each day.
  • A Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) gives nurses education and support.
  • A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) specialise in a particular area. They have extra knowledge and experience in that area, such as aged care and cancer.
  • An Assistant in Nursing (AIN) has training in care, and helps other nurses care for you.
  • Nursing students study nursing at university or college. They help care for you (under supervision).
Allied Health staff

Allied Health staff work with doctors and nurses to care for you. 

Allied Health staff include:

Social Workers

  • Social Workers give support, counselling and information to patients and their families.
  • Social Workers can arrange community services for you when you leave hospital.

Occupational Therapists (also called OTs)

  • OTs check if your illness or disability stops you doing everyday things at home. E.g. having a shower, cooking.
  • OTs teach you how to do daily things at home so you can be independent and safe. OTs sometimes arrange equipment or changes to help you at home (e.g. handrails).

Physiotherapists (also called Physios)

  • Physios help you with movement and moving. Physios also teach patients about exercise and becoming stronger.

Speech Pathologists

  • Speech Pathologists help patients with communication and problems with eating and swallowing.

Clinical Psychologists

  • Clinical Psychologists help patients with their mental health, including preventing, assessing, diagnosing and treating mental illness. They give support and counselling to patients and their families.


  • Dietitians make sure you get the right diet and nutrition.
  • If you are a carer and are worried that your friend/relative is not eating, please tell the nurse or dietitian.
  • Nutrition Assistants will help you choose your food each day. They also work with dietitians.

Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)

  • ACAT work with older patients who need care at home, respite or community care.
  • ACAT assess patients and work out whether they are able to receive this care and how much care patients need.


  • Pharmacists work with doctors who prescribe medicines. Pharmacists also check your medicines. 
  • It’s important that you to tell pharmacists and doctors what medicines and supplements you take. This includes vitamins and traditional medicines.
Other Health staff

Aboriginal Health Workers

  • Aboriginal Health Workers give practical, social and wellbeing support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, families and carers.
  • They can also help with finding accommodation for patients and families from regional, rural and remote areas.

Mental Health Peer Workers

  • Mental Health Peer Workers are employed on the basis of their personal lived experience or mental illness and recovery.
  • Peer workers help consumers in community and inpatient settings with knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help.

Consumer Representatives

  • Consumer Representatives may be past, current or potential users of St Vincent’s Health Network services.
  • They can help if you want to give feedback about the hospital/service, or if you have a worry or complaint about the hospital/service.
  • They can advocate for you and your family at meetings.
  • Tell your nurse if you want to speak with a Consumer Representative.

Pastoral Care

  • Pastoral Care can support you when you are worried, anxious, in crisis, suffering, or grieving.
  • Pastoral Care staff recognise and appreciate that patients have different religious/spiritual beliefs and values.
  • They can assist you to draw upon and use your spiritual/religious resources to promote well-being.
  • You can ask a nurse to arrange for Pastoral Care to see you.


  • Interpreters help with communication between staff and patients/families who speak a language other than English, or who are Deaf.
  • We have free, confidential, professional interpreters to help with communication between health care staff and patients/families who speak a language other than English or who are Deaf.
  • We can use interpreters who come to the hospital, and interpreters over the phone.


  • Volunteers are unpaid members of the community who give their time to support patients, family members and staff.
  • Volunteer roles are extensive through the hospital.
Meeting with health staff
  • You can ask your doctor or nurse if you want to meet with a particular staff member.
  • Our hospital website has a list of questions that people often ask their doctors, nurses, and other health care staff. You might find these questions helpful.
  • If you are a carer for a family member or friend, you can talk to more than one staff member at the same time about your family member or friend. This is called a family conference. Patients usually attend family conferences, unless they are too unwell.
  • Tell the nurse-in-charge, social worker or doctor if you want to have a family conference.