This unit provides the highest level of care for infants who are critically ill, premature or require special needs. With 27 acute care beds (Level 3) and 36 progressive care beds (Level 2), our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) offers treatment for patients from Labor and Delivery, Newborn Nursery, Pediatric Emergency, or transfers from other pediatric centers.
The NICU is a Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center (RPICC) part of Florida’s Children’s Medical Services (CMS) that works to improve the delivery of perinatal care and the outcome of pregnancy, including the quality of life from the moment of birth.
The NICU staff has over 100 members who work around the clock to meet the needs of patients and their families. Among the staff, are neonatologists, neonatal and advanced nurse practitioners, registered and clinical nurses, social workers and case managers. There is also a team of nutritionists, respiratory therapists and physical therapists. This multidisciplinary approach focuses on stabilizing, rehabilitating and successfully transitioning the patients to their home environment.
Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit also provides laser eye treatment for newborns. Specialized ophthalmologists from the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital Eye Screening Program visit babies at their bedside to perform this intricate procedure. The center also has a transport team to provide a planned, orderly and controlled transfer of sick infants.
We offer 24-hour visitation which is one way the NICU staff builds strong relationships with parents and family members. Relatives are urged to bring in stuffed animals and family photos to help create a personalized bedside. Our staff works together to create the highest level of comfort for families, since time in the NICU can be stressful for parents. We work with both mother and father to help them overcome the trauma and coach them through their infant’s recovery process. Parents are encouraged to participate with routine tasks such as feeding, bathing and diaper changing to guarantee the best parent-child bond. No baby is discharged unless the parents are completely comfortable in using their special equipment and following special procedures outside of the NICU environment.
Every five years, babies and their families are invited back to take part in a NICU reunion. It helps remind our nurses, doctors and technicians just how important the patient-staff relationship is.
A tiny baby with a big story
Born at just 28 weeks, Brooke spent 60 days at our NICU. Click here to read her story »