Welcome to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Denver Health

Hi and welcome to the Denver Health NICU. My name is Hanna Antista and I have been a NICU nurse
for five and a half years. Your NICU care team has come together to make
this video to give you an introduction to the unit, and provide information and support. We understand, for many of you, your baby
being here was not what you were expecting when you thought about the birth of your child. We are here to support not only your baby,
but you as well. This may be a lot of information for parents
and families to process during a time of stress. If you have any questions following the video,
or at any other time during your NICU stay, please ask your nurse or other NICU staff
for clarification. Every baby in the NICU is connected to a Monitor
we do this to ensure your baby’s safety. A typical Monitor looks like this. The Green Number represents your baby’s
Heart Rate. The appropriate range for a baby’s Heart
Rate is 100 – 200 beats per minute. If your baby’s Heart Rate is outside of
this range the monitor will alarm and your nurse will come in to check in and make sure
everything is alright. The Blue Number represents your baby’s Oxygen
Saturation. There are different ranges for this depending
on how much respiratory support your baby needs however, generally we like this number
to be over 90. The White Number represents your baby’s
respiratory rate. The appropriate range for your baby’s respiratory
rate is 30 to 60 breaths per minute. There are other types of measurements we can
add to the monitor if we need to. If you notice additional colors or numbers
on the monitor in your room, your nurse will provide more information. You may also be wondering how your nurse knows
if the monitor is alarming if they are not in the room. At the desk nurses can see all the NICU patients
and respond to alarming monitors even if it is not their assigned patient. Your nurse can also see all of their assigned
patients from any of their other patient’s rooms. If your baby’s monitor is alarming and your
nurse is taking care of one of their other babies they can see what is happening on your
baby’s monitor and react appropriately. While your baby is in the NICU they may need
extra help to maintain their temperature. You may see your baby in what we call an isolette
instead of a crib. Isolettes allow your nurse to keep your baby
warm, protect your baby’s skin and keep your baby safe. Evidence suggests that babies in the NICU
have better outcomes when they are allowed to sleep and rest without being disturbed. We have what we refer to as “Care Times”
in the NICU, to allow your baby to rest and grow as much as possible. Your nurse will discuss specific “Care Times”
for your baby with you. At the care times we will change diapers,
take your baby’s temperature, feed your baby, have you hold your baby, and make sure
all of his or her vital signs are good. We encourage parents to be involved and your
care team is committed to teaching you how. Every morning between 930 and 1130 the care
team gathers for what we call patient rounds. This is a time for everyone involved in your
baby’s care to discuss our plan for the day and answer any questions from parents
or caregivers. We encourage parents and families to come
to these rounds and ask questions about anything that is unclear or anything that you are curious
about. We also have social workers in our NICU who
are here to support you and offer any resources you may need. Typically, our social workers will talk with
you at the beginning of your baby’s NICU stay to learn more about you and your family
and offer any resources or programs that your baby may qualify for. They are also available to you as needed throughout
your baby’s time in the NICU. The NICU
is a secure unit. That means, every time you come into the NICU you will need to sign in at the clerk’s desk. You will need to be let in at the door by the unit clerk. The nurse or unit clerk will review the visiting
policy with you shortly after your baby is admitted. There are business cards in every room with the number to the NICU. When you call, for updates on your baby, you
will be asked to provide a security code, you can ask your nurse where to find this
code. In every room there is a call light; before
leaving the room, a nurse will make sure the call light is in reach, especially if you
are holding your baby. Please press the red button to call for your
nurse with any concerns and to help you put your baby back in their crib or isolette. When you first come into the unit you will
walk by the “Robin’s Nest.” This is where you will eat any meals in the
NICU as we do not allow food or drinks, except water, in the baby’s rooms. Your food tray will be delivered to the Robin’s
nest instead of your baby’s room. This is also where there is a restroom. We ask that you scrub your hands thoroughly
in the Robin’s Nest before entering the NICU. You will find a sink and scrub brushes
here. When you come in you will go to the unit clerk’s
desk and sign in. If you need help finding your baby’s room
the unit clerk at the desk will help you. You will find there are two nurses stations
when you walk around the unit – one on each side. Sometimes if all the rooms are full in the
main NICU we may move your baby upstairs to the fourth floor. A nurse will call you when this happens. When your baby is moved, take the elevator to
the fourth floor and follow the signs to the NICU on the left side. You will buzz in the same way upstairs on
the fourth floor as you do on the third floor. Upstairs, you can eat in your baby’s room. Your baby will still be connected to monitors
that can be seen at all nurses stations. Thank you for taking the time to watch this
video. We look forward to taking care of you and
your little one. Remember if you have any questions, the NICU
staff is here at any time to help answer them. We want to make your time with us as stress-free as possible, and no one can replace the valuable role you play as a parent.

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