Who will be taking care of my baby?
Although a variety of health care professionals and specialists may be involved in the care of your baby, a team of neonatologists will be responsible for directing your baby's care. Those most responsible for the daily care of your baby are nurses, whom you will likely get to know very well and will rely on to give you information about your baby's progress. Health care professionals whom may be involved in your baby's care include:
Doctor (MD): Your baby's care will be directed by a team of neonatologists and/or pediatric doctors. Neonatologists are pediatricians with special training in the care of premature or sick newborn babies. Other pediatric specialists may also see your baby depending on your baby's needs.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP): A nurse who has additional education, training and experience in caring for sick newborns. The NNP works closely with the neonatologist in the daily care of your baby and is available 24 hours a day.
Clinical Nurse Coordinator (CNC): A nurse designated to each shift, who is responsible for the daily operation of the unit. This nurse is available to you 24 hours a day for any questions or concerns regarding your baby's care that your nurse can't answer.
Newborn Intensive Care Nurse (RN): A registered nurse who has special training to care for premature or sick newborns.
Respiratory Therapist (RT): A person trained to operate ventilators (breathing machines) and perform procedures that assist your baby's breathing and oxygen intake.
Child Care Partner (CCP): A person trained to assist the nurse with the basic cares of your baby such as feeding, bathing and obtaining supplies.
Lactation Consultant: A registered nurse who specializes in helping mothers breast feed and maintain milk supply for sick or premature babies.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS): A registered nurse with a master's degree who provides clinical expertise and information to the nursing staff. The CNS may also be involved in teaching and consultation.
NICU Patient Care Manager/Inpatient Operations Director: Registered nurses who are responsible for the operation of the NICU. They will follow-up on your comments about the way the unit runs. Please feel free to call them with any questions or concerns.
Case Manager: A registered nurse who helps coordinate the care and discharge planning of all babies and families in the NICU and works with your insurance company to help them understand the plan of care.
Developmental Care Specialist: A person trained in infant and child development that helps monitor the progress of babies in the nursery and facilitates developmentally supportive care in the NICU.
Social Worker: A person trained to counsel families, assist with financial concerns and refer to community support services.
Occupational Therapist: A person with special training in infant development and oral motor or feeding problems. You may meet this person in the nursery or in a follow-up clinic.
Physical Therapist: A person with special training in assessing and helping muscle tone and movement problems in babies. You may meet this person either in the nursery or in a follow-up clinic.
Neonatal Pharmacist: A pharmacist with special expertise in medications for babies. They also assist the NICU staff in teaching you about the medicines your baby is receiving.
Chaplain: A person trained to provide emotional/spiritual support for babies and families. The chaplain can assist in arranging for religious rituals for your baby that are important to you.
Phlebotomist/Lab Technician: A person trained in drawing blood or analyzing the contents of your baby's blood and bodily fluids.
Radiology Technicians: A person trained to take x-rays or ultrasounds of your baby.
Audiologist: A person who specializes in hearing problems, testing hearing and treating hearing loss. Your baby will have a hearing screen done by the audiologist before discharge.
Dietitian: A person trained to plan the best nourishment for sick and premature babies.