Our NICU Team
The highly specialized, focused care provided in an NICU requires a comprehensive team of health care professionals who specialize in the intensive care needs of critically ill neonates, which include:
- Board certified neonatologists
- Masters prepared neonatal nurse practitioners
- Specially trained NICU registered nurses
- Neonatal respiratory therapists
- Neonatal physical and occupational therapists
- Registered dietitian
- Masters prepared social worker
- Discharge planner
- Neonatal pharmacist
- Neonatal critical care transport team
- Pediatric subspecialty physicians such as: cardiology, neurology, genetics, gastroenterology and dermatology
- Pediatric general and sub-specialty surgeons
- Developmental follow-up clinical staff
Each infant is assigned a personal NICU team, consisting of: their primary physician or nurse practitioner who provides ongoing care into the future; specialty physicians as necessitated by the infant's medical condition; an occupational therapist/physical therapist; a social worker and discharge planner; and, a primary bedside nurse.
- Parents and caregivers
- Primary physician or nurse practitioner
- Specialty physicians
- Occupational therapist/physical therapist
- Social worker and discharge planner
- Primary bedside nurse
Many medical professionals are involved in caring for your baby in the NICU. Each has specialized training in caring for sick or premature infants and their families.
A Neonatologist is a pediatrician with special training in caring for sick or premature newborns. A Neonatologist or Neonatal Nurse Practitioner is always available to care for the babies in the NICU. There are six Neonatologists and a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Providence St. Joseph NICU to oversee the care of your baby.
A specially-trained NICU nurse is assigned to your baby 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each time the nursing shift changes, a new nurse is assigned to your baby and given a thorough medical report of how your baby is doing. Your nurse can provide you with up-to-date information on your baby's condition and can help you learn to know and care for your baby. There are also managers in the NICU who can assist you with any special needs or questions you may have regarding the NICU.
The NICU Secretary
The NICU Unit Secretary can help you learn what you need to know about the NICU. She will show you where to scrub before entering the unit, where to find your nurse, and where to find bottles and labels for breast milk. The unit secretary is usually available during the day.
The Respiratory Specialist
The Respiratory Therapist specializes in respirators, oxygen, and interpreting blood gases. In the NICU, the Respirator Specialist monitors your baby's lung function, and works closely with the doctor, nurse, and medical team caring for your baby.
The Occupational/Physical Therapist
An Occupational or Physical Therapist (OT/PT) provides therapy services that maximizes your infant's development. The OT/PT provides strengthening and developmentally correct activities for each infant, as well as education for parents and any other caregivers.
A Dietitian works closely with the neonatologists and nurses regarding the nutrition, care, growth, and progress of your baby.
The Social Worker
A Social Worker is assigned to every infant admitted to the NICU. Social Workers meet with all parents who have babies in the NICU, and helps them cope with the stress of having a baby who is hospitalized. The Social Worker will conduct an individualized assessment of your family's needs, provide counseling, and help you connect with valuable supportive resources.
The NICU social worker is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. You may request a social worker by asking the NICU to page the social worker on duty, or by calling the social work department directly, 818-847-4798. After hours, ask the NICU staff how to address urgent/emergent needs.