Everything in a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) is new and different, perhaps even frightening for you. Please ask our nurses as many questions as you’d like; it’s important to us that you and your family feel comfortable while your baby is in our care. Read more about the state-of-the-art equipment we use to care for fragile babies.
Visiting Your Baby
Parents, grandparents, and other supportive family members are encouraged to visit as much as possible. Your visits help you get to know your baby and learn how to care for him/her. Parents who are actively involved in baby’s care during hospitalization promote a healthier outcome for baby. Multidisciplinary rounds are led weekdays at 10:00am by our neonatologists. The care plan for your baby is discussed during this time. So that we can maintain confidentiality, families are invited into the unit when it is their baby’s turn.
Since premature or ill infants cannot tolerate the stress of too many visitors or too much handling, we ask that no more than two visitors be at the bedside at any time. A parent must accompany visitors other than grandparents.
We do not allow visitors under the age of 18, even siblings of NICU babies. We certainly understand that siblings want to meet the newest family addition, but this is to limit any dangerous exposure for the already-fragile NICU babies.
Additionally, we ask that anyone experiencing even minor symptoms (sniffling, coughing) refrain from visiting the NICU. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory illness for premature and sick babies, and poses an acute danger to them. RSV season lasts from October to April.
We are concerned about your baby’s safety. That is why the NICU is a “locked unit.” To gain admission, use the telephone outside the door. When we receive your call, we will immediately let you in.
Your Baby’s Care Team
Your newborn’s care requires a multidisciplinary team approach that involves healthcare professionals from a number of different units. You will see many of these team members in the NICU.
Neonatologists Drs. Travis Anschutz, Robyn Borghese, Brandon Hart, Elizabeth O’Donnell and Shannon Jenkins are trained to specifically handle the most complex and high risk situations in the care of premature and sick newborns. They collaborate with experienced perinatologists, OB/GYN’s, pediatricians, and neonatal nurse practitioners on high-risk cases- with 24/7 care and management of sick newborns; including prenatal consultation, and delivery room management in the NICU.
Staff Registered Nurses
They are the core staff that care for your baby at the bedside. They are your first resource for information about all your baby’s needs. NICU nurses are specially trained in newborn resuscitation and stabilization to provide the best care available for your newborn.
The Charge Nurse
They make patient assignments and oversees all care in our NICU. This is your first contact person, if you have an issue, concern, or compliment.
The Unit Manager
They are your second contact if you feel an issue has not been resolved by the charge nurse or if you have a compliment for our staff. You can reach Tina Robins at (208) 529-7190.
Respiratory Therapists (RT)
They visit your infant to assess how well he/she is breathing on the ventilator (breathing machine). Sometimes timing the ventilator with how your baby is breathing can be tough, so the RT’s role is to ensure this timing is correct and comfortable. The RT may suction mucous from your baby’s lungs or adjust the ventilator to better “fit” your infant’s breathing needs.
Certified Lactation Consultant
They help mothers breastfeed their babies during challenging situations. Call (208) 529-7171 for breastfeeding or breast milk questions.
They will contact you during your stay to make sure your needs are being met and questions are being answered. They will discuss any items you may need for your baby (such as clothes, diapers, car seat) and refer you to community agencies who may be able to provide you with assistance. Babies, especially ill or premature babies, may require close monitoring, special equipment, and therapies after leaving the hospital. Our Social Workers will assist you with discharge planning and refer you to agencies that provide these services. They are also available Monday through Friday to provide emotional support.
Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists
They are specially trained professionals that assist you with your child’s growth and development. They will help you hold, touch, and play with your baby in the best ways to develop muscles and senses. These therapists work together with the NICU team to provide help with feeding, positioning, and developmental care. They can be reached at (208) 529-7982.
They assess your baby’s progress toward discharge, focusing on when and how a baby is fed, the amount a baby is fed, tolerance to that feeding and if they are growing appropriately. In addition to weight gain, dieticians make recommendations for fortification of formula to promote bone mineralization, as some nutrients are often deficient in pre-term infants.