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Who's Who in the NICU

Many professionals work as a team to care for your baby. You may meet some or all of the following:

Neonatologist: Physician who specializes in the care of children and has taken further training in the care of sick newborns.

Pediatrician: Physician who specializes in the care of children.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: A nurse who has received additional training in newborn intensive care so s/he can perform many of the same tasks as doctors.

Neonatal Nurse: Registered nurse who specializes in the care of sick babies in the NICU.

Lactation Consultant: A nurse or other professional who has received additional training and certification to help mothers with breast feeding issues.

Respiratory Therapist: An allied health professional with special training in the care and management of patients who have breathing problems and/or need respiratory support.

Occupational Therapist: A specialist in infant development and wound care. You may encounter this person either in the nursery or in a follow-up setting.

Physical Therapist: A specialist for babies with gross motor (muscle tone) issues.

Speech and Language Therapist: A specialist for babies with feeding problems.

Dietician: A specialist in the nutritional needs of newborns.

Care Coordinator: A nurse who specializes in insurance matters and discharge planning.

Social Worker: A specialist who helps families cope with the emotional stress and makes practical arrangements for care after discharge from the NICU. He/she can direct you to applicable community resources.

Technician: Assists in the treatment and care of patients under the direction of the Physician or registered nurse.

In addition, if your baby has a particular need, another specialist may be consulted. Common sub specialists and their area of expertise include:

  • Cardiologist: A doctor specializing in the structure and/or rhythm of the heart.
  • Geneticist: A doctor specializing in inherited or genetic issues and their effects.
  • Neurologist: A doctor specializing in disorders of the brain and nervous system.
  • Ophthalmologist: A doctor specializing in eye disorders.
  • Orthopedist: A doctor specializing in disorders of the skeleton.
  • Pediatric Surgeon: A doctor who performs surgical procedures on babies and children.
  • Pulmonologist: A doctor specializing in the care of babies who have apnea and/or other lung disorders.
 

                   

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