Self Regional Healthcare’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff welcomes you. It is our goal to provide very good care for your little one during a time that can be very stressful to the family. The healthcare professionals in our NICU provide quality care and close monitoring of our babies, including hourly rounds by a nurse. Our team includes neonatologists (physicians who specialize in the care of newborns), registered nurses, respiratory therapists, neonatal nurse practitioners and social workers.
The best time to speak to your baby’s doctor is between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., during rounds in the NICU. If needed, a nurse or social worker can arrange a specific appointment with the physician. If you need to talk with the doctor by phone when you visit, let your baby’s nurse know and he or she can contact the doctor on call.
If you need to contact the Nurse Director or Assistant Nurse Manager of the NICU, please ask the unit secretary for a business card with the contact information on it.
Your first visit
We realize the wait to see your baby for the first time may seem endless. You will also have numerous questions. Our first priority is to stabilize your baby and meet his or her medical needs. A staff member will contact you and your family member as soon as possible to let you see your baby and answer your questions. If you are unable to visit, we will attempt to provide a photograph.
Monitors and equipment
Each baby’s bed is equipped with monitors to help us make decisions about care. Most of the equipment includes alarms that alert us to changes. Please remember that alarms do not always mean something is wrong.
Visiting your baby
Because of the high risk of infections in premature infants, visits in the NICU are limited.
- Parents and grandparents are welcome in the NICU, except between 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. These times are set aside for the oncoming shift to get reports and assess the babies in their care.
- Children under age 10 may not visit in the NICU. Children 10 and older may visit only if they are brothers or sisters of the baby. Visitors should limit visitation to the bedside of their baby.
- Other visitors may visit only with a parent between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
- In the event of a new admission or an emergency situation, visitors may be asked to temporarily leave the NICU.
- Early in your baby’s stay in the NICU, you will be given a detailed copy of the visitation policy.
- Cell phones must be turned OFF before entering the NICU because they interfere with monitoring equipment and life-support systems.
- Hand washing is required upon entering the NICU. Proper hand washing is a two-minute scrub up to the elbows with soap and water.
Most babies on respiratory support or who have catheters cannot be held, but they may welcome touch. Nurses will let you know what kind of contact or touch your baby can tolerate. Babies who are not on a breathing machine usually can be held for feeding and comfort, but there may be times your baby’s nurse will suggest it would be best if you do not hold your baby during your visit.
Infants with breathing problems may be placed on “Minimal Touch Protocol.” There may be days when your baby can tolerate very little stimulation. The NICU staff will suggest how and when to touch or hold your baby.
When your baby is discharged from the NICU, you should bring or wear the bracelet given to you at the time of delivery – or readmission to NICU – for identification purposes. You also must have your baby’s car seat in your vehicle.
You are welcome to bring clothes for your baby to wear during his or her stay in the NICU. A nurse will advise you if something cannot be used. Please limit toys or stuffed animals to one or two per baby. Be sure to put your baby’s name on any clothes or other items you bring to the NICU.
In accordance with the federal HIPAA regulations, only parents or guardians will be given information about the baby. The NICU staff may ask for your infant’s ID number when information is requested on the telephone.
Contact the NICU
We encourage you to call the NICU if you are unable to visit. The numbers are (864) 725-4949 or (864) 725-4948. The toll-free number is 1- 800-859-0599. When the operator answers, ask to be connected to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Leave your phone number with your baby’s nurse so we can contact you if necessary.