Your Expert Team
A team of highly specialized baby experts staffs our NICU. For 35 years, our doctors and nurses have been caring for babies who are premature, underweight or have an unexpected health issue, making them the most experienced in Houston. Here are the personnel you will most often find in our NICU.
Neonatologist: A neonatologist is a pediatrician who specializes in the care of sick or premature babies in the Level 3 NICU. A neonatologist is on staff 24 hours a day to respond to changes in your baby's condition. Your neonatologist leads the team of experts who care for your baby. When your baby is well enough, the neonatologist will transfer your baby’s care to your pediatrician.
Pediatrician: A pediatrician is a doctor who specializes in the care of babies and older children. Your pediatrician will be in charge of your baby's care after discharge from the hospital.
Neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP): A neonatal nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced education, experience and skills in caring for sick or premature babies. These nurses work closely with the neonatologists to plan your baby's care every day.
Chaplain: A non-denominational minister is available weekdays and on-call during the weekend for families who would like spiritual support. Families also are encouraged to invite their personal minister to visit the in the NICU.
Child Life Specialist: Child life specialists teach you developmentally appropriate activities for your baby, and make sure that your infant receives extra nurturing. They also are available to explain the NICU to siblings, help install your car seat before you go home and provide education through My Baby Now brochures.
Consulting Specialists: Your baby's doctor may ask other specialized physicians to see your baby. These may include a pediatric ophthalmologist (eye doctor), pediatric cardiologist (heart doctor) or pediatric gastroenterologist (stomach and intestines doctor). These doctors may recommend additional medical care or tests to help your baby get well.
Financial Counselor: These counselors help you understand your insurance coverage and any uncovered expenses.
Lactation Consultants: These breastfeeding specialists are available to teach you about the techniques and issues of breastfeeding while your baby stays in the NICU and after you go home. They are also available to help you with breast pumping needs such as equipment and refrigeration of your milk.
Neonatal Dietician: A neonatal dietician monitors your baby's nutritional needs daily to help your baby grow strong.
Neonatal Pharmacy Specialist: These pharmacists specialize in newborn medications and how medicines work together to help your baby get better and stay healthy.
Neonatal Respiratory Therapist (RT): A neonatal respiratory therapist cares for babies with lung disease or breathing problems. These therapists manage your baby's ventilator or oxygen support and perform tests that help determine the condition of your baby's respiratory system.
Occupational Therapist (OT): The occupational therapist works with your baby to make sure muscles and bones develop correctly, such helping your baby learn to bottle-feed.
Social Worker: Having your baby in the NICU can be emotional and difficult. Our social worker provides support, information about community resources and other help you might need.
Other members of the NICU team may include patient care technicians, unit secretaries, lab technicians and X-ray/ultrasound personnel.