When You First Arrive:
- When your baby is transferred to the Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) within Baystate Children's Hospital, you will be asked to wait in your room or the family room while your baby is being admitted.
- As soon as the medical team has your baby settled in, you are welcome to visit.
- Parents are not considered visitors in the NICU. There are no special visiting hours for parents. Parents will be instructed about having other family members visit.
- Our unit is set up in five pods in the intensive care area and four pods in the continuing care unit.
- There are six to nine bed spaces in each pod.
- Each bed space in a pod is designed to meet the needs of your baby.
- Our nurses are assigned to give your baby continuity of care.
- There is always a nurse covering your baby.
Your First Visit to the NICU:
- You will be greeted by Welcome Center staff who will announce your arrival to your baby's nurse.
- The secretary will open our doors for you . If you see the doors open we ask that you do not enter unless the secretary has been made aware of your visit.
- When you enter the NICU, you will notice large sinks to your right. The sinks are automatic and turn on when you stand in front of them. You will need to wash your hands for two minutes each time you visit. A green light will go on above the sink when two minutes have been completed.
- You will then be led to your baby's bedside
- Your nurse will explain common NICU policies and procedures to you. We expect that you will be overwhelmed and we also know that during this trying time you may not hear everything that we are saying. Feel free to ask us anything and we will do our best to answer all your questions.
- You may want to keep a log at your baby's bedside and write down questions as you think of them.
- We will provide you with our phone numbers and an information booklet upon admission.
Seeing your baby for the first time
- Your baby is initially admitted to a special bed called a radiant warmer. The warmer controls the baby's temperature while still allowing us to closely monitor your baby's breathing and color.
- Your baby will be attached to monitors to carefully watch his heart rate, breathing and oxygen levels.
- The admission of your baby includes blood work and placement of an intravenous line for IV Therapy and Medications.
- The IV will be on a pump at the bedside.
- Depending on your baby's condition, you may see lines in your baby's umbilicus. These allow us access for IV fluids, to monitor blood pressure , and lets us draw labwork for frequent tests. As your baby's condition improves these special IV lines will be removed.
- If your baby requires help with breathing, you may see a ventilator at the bedside.
- If your baby requires maximum assistance with breathing he/she will have a tube placed in the airway and and attached to a ventilator.
- If your baby does not need to have the breathing tube he/she may be placed on nasal cannula. A hat is placed on the baby's head and prongs are placed in the nose with tubing attached to the hat to hold it in place. This delivers a constant pressure to help make your baby's breathing easier.
- Sometimes a baby is placed in an oxyhood to deliver oxygen to a baby that does not require ventilator support.
- Nurses - The "Primary Care Giver Role" -- What does that mean?
- This means that soon after your infant arrives at NICU, a primary nurse will be assigned to care for your infant as well as associate nurses to ensure that your infant will be cared for by the same core group of nurses on a daily basis.
- The primary nurse assigned to your baby is responsible for establishing a plan of care, ensuring that the plan of care is current throughout your infant's stay.
- She/he will coordinate with staff members, physicians, respiratory therapists and physicians who may be consulted to ensure that every transition is as comfortable as possible for your baby and you.
- The primary nurse (as well as the core group) will be teaching you about medication administration, answering your questions about possible procedures and most importantly, being an advocate that lends a voice to your baby.
- Primary Physicians
- Baystate NICU also feels that every family deserves a primary care physician.
- At Baystate, the family has the luxury of selecting a primary care physician to work with your baby.
- Neonatologists and other health care professionals:
- Our neonatologists, residents, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and respiratory therapists are all "in house." This means that in a serious situation, these critical staff members are always available.
- Your neonatologist will coordinate and collaborate care with all staff, contact and request referrals from other doctors that may be called in to administer specialty care and provide you with an immediate point of contact.