During your baby's stay in the NICU, your baby's care will be supervised by a pediatrician with advanced training in newborn intensive care. These specialized pediatricians are called neonatologists. A neonatologist is a doctor who is specially trained in newborn intensive medicine for premature and full-term newborns. The neonatologist leads the team of care givers in the NICU. All major decisions concerning your newborn are cleared first through him/her. The neonatologist usually sees the babies in the morning, but are available 24 hours a day. They will speak with you when you visit or by phone to keep you updated on your baby’s condition and progress. There are currently five neonatologists at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.
There are additional caregivers who are also part of the health care team for your newborn.
Pediatric Hospitalist or Newborn Associate (NBA)
A hospital-based pediatrician is on the unit 24 hours a day to provide immediate medical care. Your baby’s private pediatrician may also be involved in your baby’s care before discharge.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNPs)
Advanced practice nurses with specialized education and training in the care of sick and premature babies and their families. The NNPs work together with the Neonatologist and other members of the medical team to help monitor, evaluate, and treat the babies in the NICU. In addition, the neonatal nurse practitioners perform various procedures and provide delivery room care to high risk babies. Nurse practitioners are credentialed by the hospital and are licensed by the State of Michigan.
Registered Nurses (RNs)
The nurses are the care givers you interact most with during your child’s stay on the unit. They perform and coordinate many tasks of caring for your baby, including those ordered by the doctors. The nurses closely monitor your baby’s progress and usually have the most recent information about your baby’s care. They are also a big help in showing you how to care for your baby.