Members of the NICU Team
Your NICU team is made up of doctors, nurses, and other professionals that will care for your baby and help you cope with your baby’s NICU stay.
Main members of the team
Neonatologist – A doctor who specializes in the care of newborn babies, including sick or premature babies.
NICU Nurse – A nurse that works specifically in the neonatal intensive care unit, with newborn infants born with a variety of problems ranging from prematurity, birth defects, infection, cardiac malformations, and surgical problems. The NICU Nurse reports to the unit’s Charge Nurse.
Social worker – Provides support to the family in the NICU through supportive counseling, guidance, or helping a family to process their NICU experience. Social workers also act as advocates for families during a baby’s NICU stay.
Additional members of the NICU team
Case manager – Works closely with the NICU team to coordinate care during the infant’s stay and after discharge. Case managers may help parents arrange for home health nurses, ventilators, oxygen, apnea monitors and other equipment and services needed to care for the infant at home.
Certified nursing assistant (CNA) – A member of a patient’s healthcare team, performing important patient-centered tasks under the supervision of licensed nursing staff. Although a CNA is not a nurse, they work very closely with nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers.
Chaplain – Offers spiritual guidance and pastoral care to patients and their families.
Charge Nurse – A Registered Nurse who manages a shift of nurses in a particular area of a facility or hospital. Charge nurses help maintain the quality of care in their units and report to the Nurse Manager. (See also Clinical Nurse IV.)
Clinical Nurse IV (CN IV) – A nurse who oversees and supervises the care given to each baby. There is usually one CN IV for each shift (day and night). CN IVs serve as the Charge Nurses. They are available to assist nurses, doctors and parents in problem solving and planning.
Clinical Nurse Specialist – An advanced practice registered nurse who has earned a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. A CNS may order tests, make some diagnoses, or administer basic treatments. They provide expertise and support to a team of nurses.
Consulting physician – A medical doctor trained in some area other than pediatrics.
Discharge coordinator – Helps families arrange for follow-up care after discharge from the NICU. A discharge coordinator is a health professional, usually an RN, with expertise in helping families arrange for the follow-up care they need after discharge from the NICU or the hospital. They work closely with the NICU team to help parents prepare to take their babies home.
IPC Coordinator – A nurse who will help plan developmental follow-up for some babies.
Logistics Technician – Transports patients, equipment, specimens and materials as requested and orders and replenishes supplies as needed.
Neonatal Fellow – A pediatrician receiving more training in the care of sick newborns.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner – An advanced practice registered nurse with a Master’s Degree and at least two years experience as a bedside registered nurse in a level III NICU. NNPs provide primary, acute, chronic, and critical care to neonates, infants, and toddlers through age two.
Nurse Manager – Serves as liaison between upper management and the nurses on the floor, while helping to run the operations of the unit. Nurse managers coordinate with nurses as well as doctors, social workers, therapists, pharmacists, and support staff.
Occupational therapist/physical therapist – Trained specialists who work to help improve the baby’s growth and development through their environment and exercises to improve muscle development and control.
Parent liaison – A member of the NICU team who has had her own infant in the NICU. She helps with parent-to-parent support programs.
Pediatrician – A doctor who focuses on the health of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.
Primary nurse/Primary nurse team – A NICU nurse or team of nurses who are assigned to care for your baby when they are on shift. Parents may request that a nurse be assigned to them as their primary nurse, or the nurse may volunteer. The team plans for the baby’s nursing care.
Resident – A medical school graduate with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree who is taking part in a post-graduate training program to continue their education and medical training in a specialized field.
Respiratory therapist – A licensed professional trained in the management of breathing disorders, treatments, and procedures, oxygen and ventilators. Referred to as an RT or RCP (Respiratory Care Practitioner).