Our Healthcare Team
There are many skilled health care professionals involved in your baby’s care in the NICU:
- A Neonatologist is a pediatrician who specializes in the care of sick newborn infants. The Neonatologist assumes primary medical care of the most seriously ill infants. This medical care involves making changes on the ventilator, monitoring IV fluids and feedings, interpreting lab values and X-rays and overseeing other information to help your baby improve.
- A Pediatrician is a private physician who specializes in the care of infants and children. If you have a pediatrician, he or she may assume primary medical care of your baby or refer him to a neonatologist.
- A Resident is a physician who is “in training” to learn the care of infants as part of the family Practice Residency Program at Memorial Hospital. They make decisions in the care of your baby with the help of the neonatologist or pediatrician.
- A Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) is a registered nurse with additional training in the medical care of sick newborns. This nurse functions in a physician-extender role by assisting the neonatologist in performing exams, monitoring ventilator settings, adjusting IV fluids and feedings and interpreting lab values and X-rays. They also attend high-risk deliveries and transport high-risk infants to and from other hospitals. NNPs are usually available 24 hours a day.
- The Registered Nurse (RN) is responsible for checking for changes in your baby’s condition by doing an assessment and checking vital signs (temperature, respirations, heart rate, blood pressure) regularly. They also draw blood for lab work and monitor IV fluids, feedings, urine output and stooling patterns. They report any problems to your baby’s physician or NNP. The nurses caring for your baby can give you information about your baby’s condition and care, and are available to talk with you about your concerns and to teach you about the care of your newborn in the intensive care area. The nursing staff work 4-, 8- or 12-hour shifts with shift change occurring at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. At these times, the nurse gives reports on the babies so that the next nursing shift can take over their care.
- A Parent Care Coordinator is someone who has had a child in NICU and works closely with current families in NICU. She provides families with information and support to make their infant’s stay in NICU as comfortable as possible.
- A Respiratory Therapist (RT) is a health care professional trained to use and care for the equipment that helps a baby breathe. They place the endotracheal tubes in the baby’s trachea (windpipe), adjust the ventilator, deliver aerosol (updrafts) and provide percussion to the babies’ lungs to help them breathe more comfortably.
- A Social Worker is a health care professional trained to listen to your concerns, provide support for grieving families and assist you with financial matters and other health care arrangements especially when your baby is ready to go home.
- Other Professionals include occupational therapists, physical therapists, hearing specialists, chaplains, physicians in various specialties (cardiology, neurology, genetics, etc.) and other health care professionals who visit the NICU on request to evaluate specific conditions and make recommendations or give treatments.