Medical staff. Who is who?
Neonatology is a clinical specialty dealing specifically with newborns. Its main objective is to provide optimum adaptation of newborns after birth, and adequate treatment of health problems in the neonatal period - from birth to the 28th day after birth.
The staff consists of doctors, nurses or midwives, and non-medical personnel (sanitarians). Doctors, nurses and other people working in the NICU work in a team. In the beginning, it is likely to be difficult to understand who is who and who is responsible for what. This summary will show you who you will meet in the unit:
- Doctors coordinate the medical treatment of your baby;
- You can contact them with questions related to the therapy, the current status and the progress of your baby;
- You can also ask them for a second opinion, especially if you feel insecure in making important medical decisions;
- Pediatricians and neonatologists take care for the health of newborns in the NICUs;
- Surgeons work in a separate team, but if your baby needs surgery, surgeons will work together with pediatricians and neonatologists.
- Pediatric nurses take care for sick babies in the NICU under the supervision and with the help of nurses from the department. Furthermore, they also have a number of non-medical tasks. They help take care of the baby as if it were in a family environment as they communicate with babies and follow their needs and wants. They perform daily hygiene toilet, skincare, care of the navel, eyes, nose, etc., daily weighing of the baby, gastric tube or bottle feeding, status and basic vital signs of baby monitoring, give the medications prescribed by the physician, assist the physician in a number of specific manipulation of the baby and so on.
- They work with members of the neonatal teams;
- They often work together and with the teams that prepare babies and parents to return home.
- Non-medical staff in the NICU. The do the cleaning, washing and disinfection of incubators and other medical equipment. Preserving hygiene in the department is consistent with the disinfection policy of this type of department.
- Some departments have such specialists, although in Bulgaria it is not common practice. Psychologists might help you understand your emotions and deal with them.
- Ophthalmologists check eyesight of babies.
- ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialists check their ability to hear.
- If your baby needs radiography, it will be made by the radiologist. Ultrasound examinations are also conducted by specialist in radiology or by neonatologists.
You can also meet with graduate students and trainees at the hospital. If you do not want them to monitor your baby, you can deny their access.
If necessary, the doctor discusses with the parents and organize emergency and planned advice on site / by phone with:
- national consultant in neonatology,
- pediatric surgeon,
- pediatric neurosurgeon,
- pediatric cardiologist,
- pediatric neurologist,
- pediatric ophthalmologist
- physiotherapist and others.
Should rehabilitation is needed, a profile special rehabilitator performs the rehabilitation.
Access to information
Daily, in a given time for the respective department, parents receive detailed information about the baby, test results, procedures, consultations, further aspects of treatment are discussed together, counselling, rehabilitation, prevention and others. After preliminary preparation and awareness of the baby and the specifics of the neonatology intensive care unit, parents should be allowed to see their child, to touch it, embrace it and interact with it. After stabilizing the child's condition, visits in a designated room can be organized, where possible. Guidelines and instructions on breastfeeding / feeding of the baby and maternal care after discharge are provided.