Babies are wondrous beings, but sometimes they need assistance soon after birth. When a newborn is premature or ill and needs around-the-clock services, the Eskenazi Health Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is there, caring for infants with difficulties such as respiratory distress, apnea, sepsis, pneumonia and congenital anomalies.
Babies in the Eskenazi Health NICU have a number of people caring for them. A bedside nurse is assigned to each infant and can answer or find the answer to questions parents might have. Respiratory therapists make sure a baby’s breathing is being supported appropriately. Each baby has a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) or resident assigned as primary medical care provider. The NNP or resident is overseen by a neonatologist, a physician with special training in the care of premature and sick newborns.
Other people are involved in the NICU to care for babies and their parents: social workers, case managers, certified lactation consultants, dietitians, physical/occupational therapists, speech therapists, pharmacists, student nurses and other physicians who are specialists in treating any specific problems a baby might have. All of these people work together to help babies and families through this difficult time.
All babies in the NICU are attached to cardiac/apnea monitors so that their heart and respiratory rates can be monitored at all times. Parents are encouraged to ask their baby’s assigned nurse about any monitors, tubes and machines that might also be in use as well as any other questions about their baby or plan of care.
Visitation hours are 24 hours a day. Parents are encouraged to visit their babies as much as possible. When unable to visit, parents should feel free to call the baby’s nurse for an update. Information is given only to parents unless specified on the visitation consent form.
Only four visitors are allowed in a baby’s room at one time. Sibling visitation is allowed but parents should please see the baby’s nurse for more information. Children should not be left unattended in the waiting area.