The NICU team is made up of many health care professionals with special training and skills. Some of these health care professionals have daily contact with your baby; others when requested. These professionals work as a team to meet your baby's special needs and to monitor his/her progress. As our NICU patients require round-the-clock readiness, the team is a significant resource – not only in terms of the breadth of specialties represented, but in terms of the number of practitioners, both on-site and on call.
Team members represent a wide range of expertise and specific responsibilities within the NICU. The team encompasses many individuals, from professionals with the highest levels of training and certification to volunteers, who are no less dedicated. Here are some of the many different people you may meet, depending on your baby’s needs.
Neonatologists are pediatricians who have advanced training to specialize in the care of sick newborns and premature infants. They lead the team providing care for your baby. A neonatologist is always available 24 hours a day.
Margaret Bulanowski, MD
Lauren Ramos, MD
Matthew Ryzewski, DO
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) and Physician Assistant (PA)
Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are health care professionals who have highly advanced training in working with premature and sick newborns. They work with the neonatologists to coordinate your baby’s care, including performing physical exams and procedures, as well as writing orders.
Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants:
Heidi Carignan, NNP
Michele Corrigan, PA
Andrea Larose, NNP
Elyse Holder, PA
Amanda Ortiz, NNP
Registered Nurse (RN)
NICU nurses have extensive training and experience in the care of sick newborns. They will care for your baby 24 hours a day. Nurses are the first person to ask if you have concerns or questions about your baby’s care and they will help you to learn about and become involved in the care for your baby.
Licensed Nurses Assistant (LNA)
Nurse Assistants will greet you at the door, welcome you and screen for infection. They help with bedside care such as taking temperatures, heart rate and respiratory rate, changing diapers, feedings and baths. The LNA’s also perform a lot of administrative tasks that keep the unit running smoothly.
Charge Nurses are the shift-to-shift leaders who coordinate the daily flow of the nursery and support the nursing staff, parents and families.
The Nurse Manager and Resource Nurses are responsible for the overall operation and leadership of the NICU nursing staff.
Respiratory therapists care for your baby when your baby needs help breathing. You will see them if your baby needs a ventilator, oxygen or special breathing treatments.
Nutritionists who specialize in pediatrics and infant care round with the team daily to assure each infant’s nutritional needs are met to optimize their growth and healing and to assist parents in learning about the special needs of their infants as they prepare to go home.
Lactation consultants are trained to focus on the breastfeeding needs of the mother and baby. They can help you with all aspects of preparing for your special newborn to breastfeed.
Pharmacists with special training in pediatrics round with the team daily and are available as needed to assure the safest and most effective medication treatment is provided to your infant.
Occupational Therapist/Physical Therapsists
Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists have special training to look at the developmental needs of your baby. They participate in providing developmental care for babies together with nursing. They also help parents learn to understand their baby’s cues and how best to touch, comfort and interact with their baby.
Feeding transitions are an important part of a baby’s NICU journey. A Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) helps evaluate an infant’s readiness to transition and treat babies who have difficulty feeding with a bottle or nursing at breast.
A Social Worker is a professional trained to assist you with various aspects of the arrangements for caring for your baby both while in hospital and after discharge. This may include financial and insurance related issues or personal concerns.
Technicians are medical staff who come to the NICU to perform specific tests (x-rays, ultrasounds) ordered by the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.
Consulting Physicians are specialty doctors who care for specific issues a baby may have, such as heart problems, genetic problems, kidney problems or the need for surgery.
A pastor, minister, or other religious leader will offer spiritual support to you, your baby and your family. Spiritual Care personnel are available by contacting the Pastoral Care Department or your family religious leader may visit.
Hospital volunteers are people who come to the NICU to help the nursing staff. They may hold your baby when he/she needs extra comforting when you are not available. All volunteers receive orientation and training by the hospital before being allowed in the NICU.
If you have questions or concerns, We consider parents our partners on this extraordinary journey of a newborn’s early life.