Neonatal Intensive Care Unit A guide to the Unit

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1 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit A guide to the Unit Parent Information Women and Child Health Information about the unit Welcome to our neonatal unit. This leaflet is a brief summary of your babies journey from hospital to home. First step, Intensive care What to expect when you first see your baby Your baby will be in an incubator to keep them warm and let the doctors and nurses see how they are. Your baby will also have a lot of equipment with lines attached to them. This is to help monitor your baby. There is a lot of noise from the equipment so don t be frightened. Can I touch my baby? Yes, but please wash and dry your hands first. We will show you how to open the incubator porthole. As your baby gets better you will become more involved with their care. Second step, Special care When will my baby go to special care? When the doctors and nurses are happy that your baby no longer requires intensive care. What will I expect? You will now take part in all your baby s care and help with feeding and gaining weight. Third step, Transitional care What will I expect? A small area with four beds and cots that allows you to be with your baby when baby is well enough. It is more relaxed and homely preparing you to be with your baby before going home. We will tell you when this can be made available for you and your baby. Page 1 of 5

2 Discharge planning tool/care plan The Discharge Planning Tool begins on your baby s admission to the unit and follows them through, until discharge. We encourage you to take an active part in completing this with the staff so that we can work together to meet your needs. The Care Plan also begins on admission and details the care your baby requires whilst in the unit and is there for you to read and discuss with staff. Hand washing It is really important to wash and dry your hands before you touch your baby and again before leaving the unit. This helps to stop the spread of germs. We have a leaflet available to show you how to do this. The best way to do this is to take off your watch and any rings, except wedding bands, roll up your sleeves, remembering to wash up and over your wrists with one of the lotions at the sink. Make sure that your hands are thoroughly dry before you touch your baby. This all helps to prevent the spread of germs, which can make your baby unwell. Parent to Parent This is a charitable trust set up by parents and interested professionals to help support parents. When your baby is in the neonatal unit, it can be a difficult and stressful time for you as new parents. Parent to Parent has a Family Worker, Jackie O Neill, who visits the unit regularly and is there to: offer support; listen; spend time with you and help with any queries or concerns you may have. If you would find it helpful to talk to Jackie, just let the nurse looking after your baby know. Ward rounds Every morning the doctors and nurses have a ward round starting after 9am. The team will see your baby and make sure they are getting everything they need. The ward round can take an hour or two to see all the babies. It can be useful for parents to be present as you can hear what is being said about your baby and ask questions. Don t worry if you can t manage your babies nurse will be able to update you. During the first day of your baby s stay a senior member of medical staff or one of our Advanced Neonatal Practioners (ANP) should have updated you on your baby s condition. If this has not happened please tell your baby s nurse. Arranging to speak to a doctor If you would like to speak to a doctor, just ask the nurse who is looking after your baby. Visiting Grandparents, brothers and sisters are welcome to visit the unit at anytime, out with ward rounds. Only two visitors can see the baby at any one time and one of them should be mum or dad. Grandparents are unable to visit without you unless you have given permission. If you feel unwell, have a cold, any cold sores or any symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting; please telephone the unit before visiting and ask for advice. Page 2 of 5

3 There is a cloakroom where you can leave your outdoor clothing and lockers are available for valuables and cost 1, which is refundable. There is a coffee room available for mum, dad, brothers and sisters. Any other visitors may visit between the hours of 3pm 4pm and 7pm 8pm. Children who are under the age of 12 years cannot visit if they are not the baby s brother or sister. Handling your baby Even the smallest baby likes to be touched and this will help them to grow and get better. If you re feeling scared or unsure, we will show you how to touch your baby. This helps to calm and soothe them. Placing your hand around their head, back and chest can help with this. Your baby will need to rest as much as possible to help them grow. Getting cuddles When your baby is ready, kangaroo care can be started. This is when you hold your baby, with no clothes on; next to your skin so that your baby can feel you breathe and hear your heartbeat, making them feel safe. Don t be anxious. Enjoy it! Baby massage This is good for all babies and your baby can start having this when they reach 1 kilo or 2lbs 2ozs in weight and is feeling well enough. Massage will help you speak to your baby and learn what they are saying to you. It can also help you and your baby to relax and be more content and happy. There is a nurse available who is qualified in massage and she can discuss the benefits of this with you. There is a Physiotherapist, a Speech and Language Therapist and an Occupational Therapist available on the Unit. They may help advice on different aspects of your baby's development while your baby is in the Unit and may also follow them up at clinic after discharge. Please ask your baby's nurse if you would like to speak to one of them. Talking to your baby It is good to talk to your baby as they will know your voice and feel calmer and happier to know you are near. Bright lights and loud noises can upset your baby so we try to keep the lighting low and the noise level down. Your babies surname For security and safety purposes in hospital babies are known by the mother s surname. This helps to minimise confusion and allows easy identification of baby to mother. When registering your baby under a different surname and your baby is still in hospital, the surname will be changed on discharge. Support Please ask questions as often as you like. We are here to help. There are support groups around to help parents. Many are run by people who have been through the same type of experience, offering valuable help and information. Page 3 of 5

4 Occasionally babies and their families have special needs and there are support groups for infants with specific medical conditions, as well as families with twins or triplets. Ask the nurse who is caring for your baby for more information about existing groups. Liaison Nurses are available to offer support following discharge. They can be contacted on , extension Bliss We have Bliss volunteers who visit the unit to offer support. There are numerous Bliss leaflets which can be found in the rack outside the Parents Room. Bliss CPR DVDs are available. Please ask a member of staff if you have not received one. List of useful contact numbers: Bliss Telephone: Twins (Tamba) National Telephone: Scope Telephone: Barnardos Telephone: Financial support guidance Having a baby in a Neonatal Unit is often an unexpected event that can be stressful. A baby s stay in the Neonatal Unit can cause additional financial burden to the family. There are some resources available to you that may help to minimise this. Parking: If your baby has to stay in the Unit long term a daily parking voucher is available for visiting parents. Please ask the nurse caring for your baby about this. Facilities in the unit: Within the Neonatal Unit there is a parent s coffee room. You will find tea and coffee provided along with access to a fridge and microwave if you wish to bring and/or prepare food, please label food with your name and put the date on it. The coffee room is checked regularly, but if there is no tea, coffee or milk available please ask one of the nurses. Meals: As well as being able to bring food in with you, staff dining facilities is accessible to parents and other visitors. This is located on Level 5. Accommodation: Rooms are available in the Ronald McDonald facility. As there are a limited number, priority will be given to families who live out with Dundee. Page 4 of 5

5 We will always try to accommodate at least one parent. Cooking facilities are available within the Ronald McDonald facility. When mothers are resident in transitional care or mothers and fathers within the family room in the Neonatal Unit, meals will be provided There are a limited number of rooms for use in the staff residences. Cooking facilities are available in these Other sources: There are some other options that you may wish to consider and these include: If Mum is in receipt of Income Support, she can claim travelling expenses from the Cashier s Office on Level 8. Proof of Income Support, your travel tickets and confirmation from the Neonatal Unit that your baby is an inpatient is required Parent Feedback and Improvement Tree We are continually looking for ways to improve the family experience within the Neonatal Unit. To help us do this we have an Improvement Tree on the wall in main reception where you can leave a post-it-note with a comment about what we are doing well and what we can improve on. We also have a Parent Questionnaire which is within the pack of information you should have received. If you haven t received this information pack please ask the Nursing Staff. The Parent Questionnaires covers the whole experience within the Neonatal Unit once complete please place into the white post box in main reception. Your feedback is really important to us, if you have any questions or queries about our Improvement Tree, Questionnaire or would like to know about other ways to provide feedback please ask to speak to the Nurse in Charge. Contact Numbers: Ninewells Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Telephone: Arbroath Infirmary Maternity Unit Telephone: Perth Royal Infirmary Children s Ambulatory Care Unit (CACU) Telephone: Montrose Infirmary Maternity Unit Telephone: Please contact the nurse in charge for further advice or information if required. Ninewells Hospital has a No Smoking Policy Parents and staff have developed this leaflet. We hope you find it useful. Revised: 05/2015 Review: 05/2017 LN0074 Page 5 of 5

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