NICU Care Team Descriptions
Parents/Caregivers – Parents are an important part of the care team and are encouraged to participate in the care of their infant. You are your infant’s best advocate. The more you understand about your baby’s condition and care, the more comfortable you will feel when your baby goes home.
Neonatologists - Your pediatrician is an excellent resource for solving most health problems in newborns; however, a neonatologist is trained specifically to handle the most complex and high-risk situations.
If your baby is premature, or has a serious illness, injury or birth defect, a neonatologist may assist at the time of delivery and in the subsequent care of your newborn. If a problem is identified before your baby is born, a neonatologist may become involved to consult with your obstetrician in your baby’s care during your pregnancy.
All of our neonatologists are board certified in the practice of neonatology.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNP) are advanced practice nurses trained in diagnosis and management of neonatal medical conditions. As part of the medical team, NNPs work closely with neonatologists, nurses and other members of the team to provide the best care possible for your baby and family.
Nurses - The nurses who care for your baby in the NICU are all Registered Nurses with extra training and experience caring for premature or sick infants. They will work with you to help you feel comfortable providing some of the care for your newborn, such as changing diapers, bathing and feeding. As your baby gets closer to going home, you will be able to provide most of the care needed.
Rehabilitation Services: Physical, Occupational or Speech Therapists – Therapists provide services in the NICU for many babies. They provide evaluations of the baby and consultations for parents and staff on ways to support your baby’s development while they are in the NICU and when they go home. Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists are able to reevaluate some babies at the medical and developmental follow-up clinics after they go home. These medical professionals want to provide you with as much information and support as you need to be ready to take your baby home. Ask your nurse to contact the therapist if you have questions.
Lactation - Our International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants can support and educate you about the multiple benefits of breastfeeding or pumping breast milk for your baby. She can also work with you and your baby on breastfeeding positions and proper latch technique, and address any breastfeeding challenges you may face. After discharge, lactation consultants are available on an outpatient basis.
Neonatal dietician - Our neonatal dietician monitors the nutritional requirements needed by all of the infants admitted to the NICU as well as those babies who are in our outpatient medical and developmental clinics. Premature infants have unique nutritional needs. Good nutrition helps your baby grow and achieve their physical and developmental milestones. Our dietician ensures that what your baby eats supports good growth and development. She follows your baby’s rate of growth, plots your baby’s weight and height on a premature infant growth chart, and calculates your baby’s calorie and protein intake. She can recommend changes in nutrition to ensure your baby is receiving the best nutrition possible.
Pharmacists ensure medications are used safely and effectively in the NICU by actively participating in multidisciplinary rounds. The team is comprised of clinical pharmacists, pharmacotherapy fellow/residents and pharmacy students. Daily, they prepare for rounds by monitoring each baby’s cardiac and respiratory status, nutrition status, renal function, weight and pain/sedation scores to optimize medication management.
Respiratory Therapy Practitioners are nationally registered therapists who collaborate with the medical team. To provide respiratory support to neonates for the best possible outcome, respiratory therapists can assist with mechanical ventilator management, airway support and blood gas analysis.
Clinical Social Worker – A representative from our clinical social work team is available in the NICU seven days per week during daytime hours. Social Workers are available to every family, regardless of situation or need. They provide support, assistance and information about community resources. They are professionally trained and licensed to help families who are dealing with difficult situations and want to support you during your baby’s stay in the NICU. Their role includes, but is not limited to, providing emotional support and counseling, completing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applications for those babies who meet the eligibility guidelines, and helping families communicate with the medical team by arranging meetings at the request of the family or NICU staff. Please feel free to contact them anytime by calling (336) 209-9113 or by asking your baby’s nurse to contact them.
Audiologist – When your baby gets close to discharge, an audiologist will screen your baby’s hearing with a noninvasive test called a BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response). The test can be performed while your baby is asleep.
NICU Nannies are volunteers who have a proven track record volunteering for Women’s Hospital and have experience working with infants. They are on the unit to assist with a variety of tasks: from feeding, holding and comforting the babies to unit errands or assisting with special projects for the babies. They are scheduled seven days a week for two shifts a day.
Family Support Network (FSN) of Central Carolina – The mission of FSN is to provide support, education and caring connections to those who have a child with special needs or a child born prematurely.
A stay in the NICU can feel very different from the birth experience you were expecting and we want you to know You Are Not Alone. Our program offers emotional support, the opportunity to connect with others who have “been there,” family-friendly information and much more.
Support services include: parent-to-parent matching, weekly events for current NICU families, a well-stocked Parent Resource Room within the NICU, special support for siblings, parent education programs, Elizabeth’s Closet for qualified families needing assistance with baby supplies and a post-discharge Home Visitation Program for families in Guilford County who qualify for Infant Toddler Services.
For more information please call us at (336) 832-6507 or visit our website at www.fsncc.org.
Chaplains are professionally trained providers of spiritual and emotional care. Chaplains are available to be extra listeners and encouragers throughout your journey in the NICU. They serve people of all faith traditions, as well as people with no religious affiliation. Many families find it helpful to:
- tell their birth and NICU stories.
- have a conversation partner for reflection.
- celebrate milestones and to work through their feelings if there are setbacks.
- help families talk together about hopes or anxieties.
- have a prayer, baby blessing or special rite of passage.
- know that there’s an extra support person to call at any point along the way.
A chaplain is usually available to the unit or to plan a visit between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additionally, the Department of Spiritual Care and Wholeness provides 24/7 chaplain coverage for emergency situations. Please ask any staff member to page a chaplain if you would like to request a visit.
Neonatal Follow Up Coordinator – Schedules specialist appointments and coordinates follow-up clinics.
Nurse Technicians – Provide assistance to the bedside nurses.
Nursing Secretary will greet you as you come in the NICU and often answer the phone when you call to check on your baby.