- Parents' Role
- Patient Confidentiality
- Infant Development
- Very Seriously Ill
- Reading Charts
- Your Baby's Stress Signals
We, the staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are aware of your fears and concerns when your baby is admitted to our unit. This is a very frightening and stressful experience for you, your family, and friends. We are sensitive to what you are going through and will do all we can to support you through this crisis.
Some of the feelings you may be experiencing are shock, guilt, anger, sadness, rage, despair, helplessness and fear. You may be experiencing all, some, or different emotions as a result of your baby being ill. All these feelings are normal expressions of grief felt by parents as they adapt to and change their original expectations of having a healthy baby. You are appropriately frightened because you are not aware of the outcome.
To help reduce your anxiety and stress, we will continuously provide you with information about your baby. We can offer you support with any problem you may be experiencing. We have a large resource team available to help you.
These web pages were adapted from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit booklet, that is given to you when your baby is admitted to the unit. The booklet has been prepared to assist you in answering some of the questions you may have, and to provide you with our guidelines and regulations.
We may not be able to answer all of your questions in this booklet, so please do not hesitate to ask questions.
In Memory of Colonel Thomas A. Perkins
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit booklet is dedicated to the memory of Colonel Thomas A. Perkins, the primary driving force behind the conception, planning and construction of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Colonel Perkins was medical director of the NICU from February 1998 until his death in October 1998.
What is a NICU?
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a special area of the newborn nursery where doctors and nurses give around-the-clock care to sick newborns. In the NICU, babies receive more intensive attention than is possible in a regular newborn nursery. NICU staff members have special training in their fields. Because of the special nature of the unit, we remind you that:
- Visitors may not eat or drink in the unit.
- Cameras (still only) are allowed (with the permission of the head nurse/charge nurse) in the NICU for photographing only the visited infant.
- Parents must show proper wristband identification or ID card prior to visiting their infants.
On your first visit to the NICU, it may seem like a strange place. The nursery is full of machines and bright lights. Buzzers and alarms go off. Your baby seems to have tubes and wires attached everywhere. Don't let all this technology allow you to lose sight of the fact that at the center of all this equipment is the baby you love. And your baby is getting the very best medical care.
We all understand that this is a stressful time for you and your family, so do not feel bad if you need to ask the same question more than once!!
Your baby's nurse will explain any equipment attached to your baby and answer any questions you might have regarding your baby's care. A pediatrician or neonatologist will also be available to answer your questions at any time.
Grandparents may visit anytime if accompanied by one of the parents. On a case-by-case basis, (such as parent illness/hospitalization) a grandparent may be allowed visitation privileges, with proper identification, without the parent(s).
Visitation by anyone other than the parents, grandparents or designated significant other will be subject to the head nurse or charge nurse's discretion. Parents are encouraged to visit their baby daily. If you cannot come for a visit, we ask that you call at least once a day to check on your baby's status.
All visitors must remove rings, watches, bracelets, etc. and complete a three-minute scrub before entering the NICU. Please be sure to place personal items in your pocket or purse for safekeeping. We are not responsible for any loss or theft of valuables.
page last modified on: 6/13/2013