What is the NICU?
The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is the part of the hospital where premature or sick newborns are given care.
But the NICU (say "NIK-yoo") is much more than a place in the hospital. It's where these three elements work together to give your baby the best possible care: Staff, technology, and you.
The NICU staff who care for your baby are specially trained. They may include:
- Your baby's doctor.
- A neonatologist, who specializes in the care of newborns.
- Specialists skilled in the treatment of your baby's particular problem.
- Nurses and neonatal nurse practitioners.
- Respiratory therapists.
- Social workers.
NICU technology helps your baby in many ways:
- Your baby will be kept in a special bed called an Isolette. It provides warmth and calm in the busy NICU.
- Monitors will track body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels in the blood.
- Other equipment may supply medicine, air, food, and fluids.
You are a big part of the care team, too. Your baby needs you. Working with the NICU staff, you'll find out about your baby's needs and what you can do for him or her. You'll learn about technology, medical words, rules, and procedures. When your baby's condition permits, you may also help with breast milk and cuddling. During your baby's stay in the NICU, you and the NICU staff will get to know each other well. Be sure to ask questions and join in the discussions about your baby's care.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter V972 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Infant Care in the NICU".