A team of highly specialized and experienced staff cares for babies in our NICU. Many of the people who help care for your baby in our unit are described below.

Our NICU Caregivers  

Other Specialized Services

Consulting Specialists

NICU Caregiver Descriptions

  • Case Manager: A professional who works with insurance companies regarding medical necessity and length of stay. This person also helps with discharge planning, arranging for medical equipment and visiting nurses when necessary.
  • Chaplain: A non-denominational minister is available upon request for families who would like spiritual support. Families are also encouraged to invite their personal minister to visit them in the NICU.
  • Child Life Specialist: These professionals teach you developmentally appropriate activities for your baby, and make sure that your infant receives additional nurturing. They are also available to explain the NICU to siblings.
  • Lactation Consultant: These breastfeeding specialists are available to teach you about the techniques and issues related to breastfeeding while your baby stays in the NICU and after you go home. They are also available to help you with breast pumping needs that include additional equipment and the refrigeration of your milk. We encourage mothers to begin pumping breast milk for their baby within six hours of delivery. Lactation resources are available at all times.
  • Neonatologist: A pediatrician who specializes in the care of sick or premature babies in the advanced NICU. The neonatologist is in-house, 24-hours a day, seven days a week to respond to changes in your baby's condition. Your neonatologist leads the team of experts who care for your baby.
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP): 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.
  • Neonatal Service Manager: A neonatal service manager is an experienced NICU nurse that collaborates with the medical team to ease the transition from hospital to home. The NICU service manager will help you navigate through the discharge process, arrange healthcare providers upon discharge as needed and provide individualized education.
  • Occupational Therapist (OT): A therapist who works with your baby to ensure correct development of muscles and bones. An OT may also help figure out how well a baby feeds and swallows.
  • Pharmacist: A neonatal pharmacist has special training and expertise in neonatal/infant medications. He or she makes sure your baby receives the right drug in the correct amount and on time.
  • Physical Therapist (PT): A health care provider who looks at any movement problems a baby has and how they may affect the baby sitting, rolling over or walking. The PT helps improve a baby’s muscle strength and coordination.
  • Registered Dietitian (RD):  A health care provider who is trained as an expert in nutrition. The NICU RD has special training in the nutritional needs of newborns and works with the NICU staff to help make sure babies get all the nutrients they need. Nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, help your baby stay healthy, gain weight and grow strong.
  • Registered Nurse (RN): A neonatal nurse is an RN in the NICU who has special training in caring for newborn infants with a variety of problems ranging from prematurity, infection, heart disease and surgical problems. The NICU RN provides the main daily bedside care for premature and sick newborns.
  • Respiratory Therapist (RT): A healthcare provider who cares for babies with lung disease or breathing problems. They manage your baby's ventilator or oxygen support and perform tests that help determine the condition of your baby's respiratory system.
  • Speech and Language Therapist (SLP): A health care provider who has training to help people with speech and language problems. In the NICU, this therapist often helps newborns with feeding problems such as suck and swallow coordination or with birth defects such as cleft lip or palate.
  • Social Worker: A person who is trained to help families cope with their baby’s NICU stay. A social worker can give families emotional support and help them get information about their baby’s medical condition and NICU care. They also help families find resources and services to help them care for their baby, help families work with insurance companies, and help them plan for when their baby comes home.
  • Other members of the NICU team may include patient-care technicians, unit secretaries, neonatal nutrition technicians, lab technicians, and X-ray/ultrasound personnel.

Other Specialized Services Descriptions

  • Cuddle Care Volunteers: These hospital volunteers cuddle and hold infants who need additional attention.
  • Financial Counselor: These counselors help you understand your insurance coverage and any uncovered expenses.
  • Medical Interpreter: A medical interpreter helps limited- or non-English speaking patients communicate with doctors, nurses and other staff. Interpreter services are provided for our limited-English speaking patients. We also provide communication equipment and services for hearing-impaired patients. Please let the admitting staff know you would like an interpreter, or make arrangements in advance by calling our patient advocacy department at 713-791-7287.
  • March of Dimes Family Support Coordinator: A person who provides information, help and comfort to families when their baby is in the NICU

Consulting Specialists Descriptions

Your baby's doctor may ask other specialized physicians who have special medical training to examine your baby. These doctors may recommend additional medical care or tests to help your baby

  • Pediatric Anesthesiologist: A doctor who has special medical training to manage general anesthesia and sedation needs of infants and children.
  • Pediatric Cardiologist: A doctor who has special medical training to care for a baby’s heart.
  • Pediatric Endocrinologist: A doctor who has special medical training to care for a baby’s hormones. Hormones are chemicals that affect how other parts of the body work.
  • Pediatric Gastroenterologist: A doctor who has special medical training to care for a baby’s digestive system. The digestive system is made up of organs and tubes that digest (break down) food a baby eats.
  • Pediatric Geneticist: A doctor who has special training to care for people with birth defects and genetic conditions.
  • Pediatric Hematologist: A doctor who has special training to care for babies with blood disorders.
  • Pediatric Infectious Disease/Wound Care Specialist: A doctor who specializes in treatment of infectious and immunologic diseases such as those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
  • Pediatric Nephrologist: A doctor who specializes in treatment of babies with kidney problems.
  • Pediatric Neurologist: A doctor who has special medical training to care for a baby’s brain and spinal cord. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that carries signals between the brain and the body.
  • Pediatric Neurosurgeon: A doctor who has specializes in surgical care of problems with the brain or spine.
  • Pediatric Ophthalmologist: A doctor who has special medical training in the care of eyes and vision.
  • Pediatric Orthopedist/Orthopedic Surgeon: A doctor who has special medical training to care for and treat bone problems.
  • Pediatric Otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist): A doctor who has special medical training to care for and treat illnesses or problems affecting the ear, nose, or throat. More commonly referred to as an ENT doctor.
  • Pediatric Pulmonologist: A doctor who has special medical training to care for a baby’s lungs.
  • Pediatric Radiologist: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis of illnesses, injuries and diseases using imaging techniques and equipment such as X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI’s and CAT scans.
  • Pediatric Surgeon: A doctor who has special medical training in doing surgery and other procedures.
  • Pediatric Urologist: A doctor who has special medical training to care for the urinary system (kidneys, ureters, bladder).
  • Pediatrician: A doctor who has special training in taking care of babies and children. Your pediatrician will be in charge of your baby's care after discharge from the hospital.