Your NICU Care Team
At Rush Copley, we take a team approach when caring for your infant.
Parents - You are the most important member of our team! From the moment your baby arrives in the NICU, we encourage you to be here as much as possible, participating in his/her care as conditions allow. Your child’s well being depends on your presence and loving touch. These are vital needs that only you can meet.
Neonatologists - Our neonatologists are specialists trained to treat newborns and children and are responsible for round-the-clock care of your infant. While in the NICU, a neonatologist will act as your child’s primary physician, coordinating and planning care. Neonatologists from the group rotate every 24 hours, with a doctor always present in the NICU. When your baby is ready for discharge, the neonatologist will transfer care to the physician you have selected.
Pediatric Subspecialists - Depending on your baby’s needs, a variety of physician specialists are available including cardiologists, surgeons, geneticist, neurologists, ophthalmologists and more. They work with the neonatologist to coordinate specific treatments, consult on infants with special problems as needed and help ensure that your child receives comprehensive care.
Registered Nurses (RN) - The nurses in the NICU are your baby’s primary care providers. They are specially trained to treat sick and premature infants and manage your baby’s individualized plan of care. They collaborate with the interdisciplinary team and keep you informed about your baby’s progress.
A charge nurse is present on each shift and is responsible for coordinating the staff and the infants’ care. A manager is responsible for the NICU.
NICU Care Coordinator - The NICU care coordinator will act as your discharge planner and make your baby’s transition to home very smooth. The coordinator ensures that your follow-up appointments and referrals are made by the time you go home, and will also coordinate the care your baby will need after discharge.
NICU CNS - A clinical nurse specialist provides education to the nurses on neonatal intensive care. The CNS is responsible for coordinating the standards of care for the unit and facilitates quality improvement.
Lactation Consultant (LC) - Breastmilk is the best food you can give your baby. It is especially beneficial for premature babies because it is easier to digest than formula and boosts the immune system. Our lactation consultants are available to help you with your breastfeeding needs and can provide information and supplies for breastfeeding and/or pumping milk for your baby.
Respiratory Therapy (RT) - Breathing problems are common for babies in the NICU. Because their lungs are immature, preemies often require additional respiratory care which is provided by respiratory therapists. RTs also care for infants with upper respiratory infections and conditions that are debilitating or life-threatening.
Registered Dietitian (RD) - Your baby’s nutritional status is closely monitored by specially trained registered dietitians. The dietitian assesses the fluids, calories and nutrients taken in and tracks the progression of your child’s growth.
Social Worker (MSW) - You and your family may need services outside the hospital before and after your child is discharged. A social worker can connect you with providers such as home care nurses, outpatient therapists and the Neonatal Development Follow-Up Clinic. A social worker can also address counseling concerns, as well as questions on health insurance and parenting.
Developmental Therapist - Following your baby’s development is very important as he/she grows. That is the job of a developmental therapist who will assess development, tolerance to the environment, stress signs and self-calming strategies. The therapist recommends interventions to encourage bonding and age appropriate development. The therapist will guide you through learning your baby’s non-verbal language and reading his/her cues. She will also help you care for your infant’s mental health.
Physical Therapist (PT) - A physical therapist works with the multidisciplinary team to assess your baby’s physical needs, providing proper positioning, massage and range of motion to promote normal development.
Infant Massage Therapist - Some infants benefit from special massage techniques. An infant massage therapist is available to teach you infant massage, if it is appropriate for your baby.
Speech Pathologist - Sick and premature infants often have difficulty eating. A speech pathologist works with team members to suggest techniques and positioning strategies for feeding and develops custom feeding plans and oral exercises that you can learn and help your baby with.
Chaplain - Chaplains are available to provide spiritual support, prayer, blessings and baptisms and can help you contact your own religious leader. Ask the nursing staff to help you reach a chaplain.
Other Personnel - A variety of staff members and volunteers assist in the NICU, taking care of paperwork, arranging for testing and physician orders, helping with basic infant care, stocking supplies, doing medical testing such as X-rays and more.