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Meridian Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

What is a NICU?

Newborn babies who are born premature or have any unexpected complications are admitted into a special area of the hospital called the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). ARMC has a Level III NICU which means that we are equipped to provide a very high level of care for the tiniest and most critically ill babies.Premature baby holding moms finger

NICU stands for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which is a nursery in a hospital that provides around-the-clock care to sick or premature babies. NICUs are designed by levels (I through IV) based on the complexity of care they can provide. ARMC NICU is a 10-bed, Level III unit and our team is able to provide continuous care for preterm and critically-ill infants for as long as needed.

Available services include:

  • Continuous mechanical ventilation and High Frequency Ventilation
  • Parenteral Nutrition
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology Services
  • Pediatric Echocardiography Services
  • Pediatric Ultrasonography Services
  • Radiologist Services
  • Lactation Consultants
  • Pharmacy available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week

Additional consultation services are available through the agreement between our Neonatologists and University of Mississippi Medical Center. In some very specific cases (for example, a baby who needs surgery), babies need to be referred to a Level IV NICU (either UMMC or UAB). Our Neonatologists will work with you to provide the best option.

Our NICU Team

The NICU team includes doctors, neonatal nurse practitioners, neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and social workers.

Neonatologist: a medical doctor who is a pediatrician and finished an additional three years of specialized training in neonatal care. They coordinate and decide your baby's daily care plan and are available 24 hours a day if a problem arises.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: a registered nurse who has had years of experience as a neonatal nurse and completed extra training in the care of sick newborns. Our NNP’s are trained in medical procedures and clinical decisions. They work closely with the Neonatologist in the unit.

Neonatal Nurses: they are registered nurses who have completed specialized training in the care of sick and healthy infants. Our --- nurses are proficient in Newborn Resuscitation, breastfeeding support and they keep our neonatologists and NNPs continuously informed of the care of your baby.

Our team will work with you in order to provide the best, individualized care for you and your baby. We encourage the use of breastmilk and Kangaroo Care in the NICU as well as other evidence based programs to help your baby develop to its full potential. Our neonatologists and NNPs are readily available to discuss your babies’ plan of care and answer your questions diligently.

What to Expect

On the day your baby is admitted to the NICU, we like to begin thinking about the day you will take your baby home. As soon as your baby is stable, we encourage you to hold him/her, start talking, singing, and reading to your baby. We want you to team up with our wonderful nurses to join in the baby’s care by changing the baby’s diaper, taking the baby’s temperature, feeding the baby and talking with the nurse about your baby’s care. We will teach you special things you need to know about your baby before you take him or her home using videos, demonstrations, and written discharge instructions that will also include your baby’s follow-up appointments. Prior to discharge you will watch the infant CPR video and be allowed to ask questions and practice CPR skills.

The staff of the NICU looks at many factors to determine when a baby can go home. All signs are positive when your baby:

  • No longer requires oxygen
  • Takes all feedings by mouth
  • Maintains his/her temperature in an open bed

By visiting your baby regularly, you can work with our staff in planning for your baby to go home. Our staff is available to answer your questions, and we want you to understand everything we are doing for your baby. We encourage parents to visit their baby often and interact with the staff to learn more about the baby’s condition and care.

Media

In this Medical Minute, Dr. Roland Boyd, Neonatologist, explains how the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides specialized care for our tiniest patients.

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