NICU care at Atlantic Health System is provided by a multidisciplinary team that includes board-certified neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners and physician assistants, neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, infant feeding specialists, social workers, care managers and lactation consultants. A full list of the neonatal professionals include:
Neonatologists are pediatricians with specialized training in the care of premature and critically ill infants. They are responsible for and direct the care of all infants during their stay in the NICU.
Advanced Practice Nurses/Physician Assistants
Our advanced practice nurses are masters prepared nurses with specialized training in neonatal intensive care; and our physician assistants have completed graduate training in health care along with specialized NICU training. They provide direct clinical care under the direction of the neonatologists.
Nurses in our NICU receive specialized training and are certified to care for premature and critically ill infants.
Our respiratory care practitioners are licensed professionals who evaluate, treat and care for infants with breathing disorders and those who require respiratory support. They administer and monitor oxygen therapy, breathing treatments, ventilator care and bedside laboratory testing. Respiratory therapists are present in our NICUs 24 hours a day, attend the delivery of newborns at risk of respiratory illness, and are an integral part of the Neonatal Transport Team.
Physical therapists in our NICU have specialized training and experience in providing developmental evaluation and treatment of premature or medically complex infants.
Feeding Specialists/Speech-Language Pathologists
Our speech-language pathologists specialize in evaluating and managing infants with feeding or swallowing problems. They assist NICU staff and parents in deciding when an infant is ready for oral feeding – either bottle or breastfeeding.
Social workers in our NICU are professionally-trained to assist families in coping with non-medical problems and issues related to their baby's illness and hospitalization. They provide support and counseling to help parents adjust to their infant's NICU admission, address social and emotional concerns, and plan for the infant's “return home.” Additionally, our social workers are family advocates in coordinating hospital services and securing benefits and referrals.
Our care managers are registered nurses who work closely with NICU patients’ families and medical teams to ensure care is provided smoothly and effectively. They help obtain insurance certification for inpatient hospital services and work to coordinate care after hospitalization, including any necessary private duty nursing care, physical therapy or home medical equipment.
Lactation consultants have specialized training in the practice of breastfeeding. They are available in our NICU to help you start breastfeeding and answer any questions you may have.