What do we do?
Our job is to:
- Attend high risk deliveries
- Stabilize infants in the delivery room
- Administer ongoing care & management of admitted infants
- Evaluate & arrange transport of sick infants from outlying hospitals who require intensive care.
A neonatologist is a physician who has specialized training to handle complex, high risk situations that can occur with newborns. If your newborn has a serious illness, injury or birth defect, a neonatologist may assist at the time of delivery. If a problem is identified before your baby is born, a neonatologist can also become involved during pre-natal counseling.
A neonatologist completes extensive training to care for newborns in this way. All of our neonatologists have completed a pediatric residency and are board certified pediatricians. Neonatologists also complete an additional 3 years of training in a sub-specialty fellowship.
Neonatal nurse practitioners have a bachelors’ degree in nursing and receive a master’s degree or a doctoral degree to become a Neonatal nurse practioner (NNP). They often practice in NICUs as patient care nurses before their specialized years of Neonatal nurse practitioner training. They learn to resuscitate and medically care for sick infants from the moment of birth. NNPs are specialized in performing procedures and caring for complex medical problems in newborn patients. We are fortunate to have a number of very experienced NNPs working as part of our team.
The neonatologists, nurse practitioners and the St. Mary’s Hospital NICU staff comprise the team who cares for your sick/premature newborn infant in the St. Mary’s NICU. Our team also includes trained and highly skilled NICU nurses, specialized respiratory therapists, designated pharmacists, designated neonatal social workers, designated neonatal nutritionist, developmental specialists, pediatric ophthalmologists, and a complete compliment of pediatric and pediatric surgical subspecialists who serve as consultants when the need arises.
Our neonatologist/nurse practitioner staff is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
We consult with family physicians and pediatricians at St. Mary’s. We consult with parents prenatally to provide information about diagnosed problems. We also provide the surrounding community with neonatal transport and consultant services.
When your delivery physician has serious concerns about the health of your unborn infant he/she will ask us to participate in your care. We may attend your delivery for the following reasons:
- Premature delivery
- Abnormal fetal heart tones
- Abnormal amniotic fluid
- Suspected infection.
A mothers health or pregnancy problems may have direct consequences on her baby. Major maternal concerns effecting the unborn infant may include:
- Cesarean section
- Instrumented deliveries
- Multiple gestation pregnancies
- Mothers receiving magnesium or narcotics.
Your delivering physician will explain why we are present at your delivery.
While we are working with your infant in the delivery room we will speak to you as soon as your infant’s immediate needs are met. After delivery, we’re there to help your baby and keep you involved in his or her care
When an infant requires further evaluation or treatment, he/she is admitted to the NICU. Your infant’s care is our top priority and we will update you and keep you involved in their care. Parents are an integral part in the care of the child. We encourage visitation.
The neonatal physicians/NNPs round on all of the patients in the NICU each morning. The timing is variable depending on the demands of our patients. Our goal is to begin between 8am – 9am. Each infant is reviewed with his/her Nurse. All current issues, therapies, and plans are discussed. Parents are encouraged to be active participants on rounds. At the end of rounds we will summarize the problems & plans and try to answer any questions you may have. If you are unable to attend rounds and would like to talk with us, please ask your infant’s nurse. We are happy to talk with you as soon as possible.