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NICU Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, NICU?


Yes, we provide intensive care services to newborns. Our NICU is staffed 24/7 with well trained and experienced Neonatologists, a physician who specializes in neonatal medicine.  All of our Neonatologists and our Neonatal Nurse Practitioners have many years of experience in rendering newborn intensive care.  Our full-time Neonatologists are Board Certified in their specialty and they are affiliated with Johns Hopkins Hospital.

What services can you provide in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit?

Our specialized services include, but are not limited to, services for newborns and infants who are:

  • low birth weight,
  • small for gestational age,
  • premature at 28 weeks or above,
  • high-risk newborns with major or minor problems,
  • primary transports from other facilities, and
  • those transferred back from tertiary centers for intensive or intermediate care once the newborn is at 28 weeks, or 
  • to convalesce, feed and grow.


Are you a teaching hospital?

No, we do not have medical students or residency training programs for physicians.   We do have some nursing students from several colleges who are paired with our experienced staff and instructors who may sometimes be in the service area.


Can parents visit? And can other people come to see my baby?

Parents are encouraged to visit as frequently as possible. Our guidelines for visiting are as follows:

  • 24 hours a day for parents. (To protect patient confidentiality, parents, family members and friends are asked to step out of the NICU during multidisciplinary rounds on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 until 10:30 a.m.) 
  • Siblings over the age of 4 years are welcome.
  • Other visitors are welcome between 12 Noon and 8 PM, with a parent.
  • Please ensure that everyone who comes to visit your baby is healthy.
  • Parents, family and friends will be informed if visitation guidelines need to be altered due to condition, therapeutic procedures, or space limitations.


Do the nurses who work in your NICU receive any specialized training?


Yes, all of our nurses complete a competency based orientation specific to our department. They have completed additional training for neonatal resuscitation and courses from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System (MIEMSS). 


The majority of our staff have previous work experience from other centers with NICU departments. We also have a four-month internship for new graduates or nurses who change specialities and are interested in a NICU position.


What special programs are available to assist NICU parents and families?


Once my baby is discharged, what can my family do to stay connected to the NICU?


Join the NICU Parent Advisory Committee - a special group for parents of former NICU patients who help with fund raising efforts, Parent-to-Parent Connections, and other unique NICU projects such as the Annual NICU Reunion.


Once my baby is discharged, what happens if he/she gets sick?


You should take the baby to see his or her Pediatrician or Family Practice Physician unless it is an emergency situation, and then you should call 911.  If the baby needs to be admitted to the hospital, he or she would be admitted to our Pediatric Unit.


Find more information on the George L. Shields Emergency Department.




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