Roles of our team in caring for your baby.
The NICU health care team work together and create what is called a multi-disciplinary team. This means there are a lot of professionals who work close together to make sure your baby receives the best care. Each member of the team has their own roles in the NICU but many of them overlap too.
NICU nurse: This is your baby’s bedside nurse. They are a registered nurse (RN) with specialized training and education in caring for infants.
Patient care coordinator: They are also known as the charge nurse. They run the day-to-day activities of the NICU and coordinate the care of the unit. If you have any questions or concerns you can talk to your baby’s nurse or the patient care coordinator.
Pediatrician: A doctor with specialized education to treat children of all ages.
Neonatologist: A pediatrician who has specialized education to care for babies who are sick or premature.
Resident: This is a doctor who is training for a specialty such as family medicine or pediatrics.
Respiratory therapist: A therapist who has specialized training with the respiratory system (breathing). They work closely with the neonatologist and NICU nurse to help your baby with breathing support.
Lactation consultant: A health care member who has specialty training in breastfeeding and expressing breast milk. They can answer your questions on medications you are taking and your breast milk as well as any questions you have about your milk production.
Social worker: This is a member of the health care team who can help you with emotional support and financial resources.
Occupational therapy: A therapist specialized in the growth and development of your baby. They also support you and your baby to learn the skills needed to complete your baby’s daily activities such as feeding.
Speech-language pathologist: A therapist specialized in how the muscles of the mouth, throat and breathing work to help your baby feed and swallow safely. They may provide a feeding assessment to help with your baby's feeding development. They also support you to understand how your baby communicates.
Physiotherapist: A therapist specialized in the physical development of your baby. They may work on your baby's muscles, joints, lungs or nerves to help your baby to grow and develop. They also help prepare you for the transition to home.
Registered dietitian: This is a member of the health care team who specializes in infant nutrition. They focus on making sure your baby is meeting their nutritional needs for growth and development.
Pharmacist: The pharmacist works closely with other team members to ensure that the medication your baby and you are on is appropriate, effective, and safe. They can teach you about the medications your baby is receiving as well as the medications you are taking.
Manager: Manages how the unit operates, staff and patient relations.
Clinical nurse educator: They are responsible for teaching the NICU nurses about changes and the most recent evidence on caring for babies in the NICU.
Access coordinator: Makes sure babies are placed in the right NICU at the right time, throughout their NICU journey.
Discharge planning nurse: Makes sure you are ready throughout your baby's NICU stay for going home. When it comes time for you to go home, this nurse will make sure you have all of the right education, equipment and resources you may need for this special occasion.