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Structure and Function of the RNICU

Arriving at the RNICU

When your baby first arrives in the Regional Neonatal Center, he or she will be placed on a special bed to maintain body temperature and provide immediate care and evaluation. As soon as your baby is stable, a physician or nurse will give you an update on your baby and a member of our healthcare team may contact you to request consent for certain procedures necessary for your baby's care.

As Your Baby Grows

As your baby's condition requires, he or she may be moved to another room within the NICU in preparation for discharge home. Alternatively, we may also discuss transfer to one of our affiliate hospitals that is closer to your home. In all circumstances, we assure that your baby will receive the appropriate level of expert neonatal services until his or her discharge.

An attending neonatologist (a pediatric specialist who is an expert in the treatment of newborns) is the healthcare team leader and is responsible for your baby's care plan.  Fellows and residents (doctors pursuing further specialization in newborn intensive care), physician assistants (PAs), neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP, advanced practice nurses), and bedside nursing personnel all function as part of our medical team.  Depending on your baby's needs, the neonatologist may request that other physician specialists provide separate consultations for your baby (such as a pediatric cardiologist, for example).

The Role of Your Baby's Attending Physician

The name of the neonatologist in charge of your baby's medical care (the attending physician) is located in the window box across from the clerk's desk at the entrance to the Regional Neonatal Center and in each of the patient care rooms.

The attending physician is responsible for medical decisions.  However, all members of our healthcare team work together to provide medical care and assistance for your baby 24 hours each day and 365 days a year.  We coordinate these plans during rounds twice daily, and encourage you to join us in these discussions.

Nursing

Our nursing staff is responsible for your baby's day-to-day bedside care.  They are available continuously to observe, evaluate and care for your baby in a compassionate way.  They are also available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Staff Availability

At the Regional Neonatal Center there are always physicians in the hospital plus NNPs or PAs and nursing staff available to you and your baby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You may telephone the unit at any time and speak to the nurse who is caring for your baby.  As needed, the nurse will direct you to the physician for further discussion.  When you telephone please identify yourself and state your relationship to the baby.  For confidentiality reasons, we will share information only with parents over the telephone and in person unless you specifically identity someone to assist you.  Please inform other friends and relatives that they will not be given information about your baby's condition.