Texas Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is led by a multidisciplinary team of neonatal experts – physicians and nurses who are internationally known for their level of experience and knowledge in the care of premature and critically ill infants. They serve on committees and consortiums that set the standard of care for newborn care nationally and conduct research on a range of topics in perinatal and newborn medicine.
Leaders on the national stage through their appointments with professional organizations, our physicians train the neonatal medicine specialists of tomorrow through Texas Children's affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine.
Exemplifying excellence in the management and care of premature and critically ill infants, our nurses work hand-in-hand with physician leaders to ensure the highest level of care is provided to our patients. They serve on regional and national committees and train future neonatal nursing leaders through Texas Children’s affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine.
Expert team of professionals
Taking care of the sick and premature infants in a NICU requires compassion, skill and the highest level of expertise. In addition to nationally recognized physicians, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team includes more than 500 highly specialized neonatal nurses and other health care professionals who provide expert patient care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When your baby is admitted to one of our NICUs, a team of these specialists is chosen to work with you and the doctors to meet the unique health care needs of your baby and to provide the best possible care. Virtually any pediatric subspecialist your baby may need is nearby and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
And since Texas Children's is an academic medical center, our team members are the health care professionals who train other medical professionals. This means that the experts at Texas Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit help set the standards of care nationally.
Our expert team of professionals includes:
- Child life specialists – Child life specialists use comfort and play to help promote normal, healthy development. They also help young children cope with having a brother or sister in the NICU.
- Dietitians – The registered dietitians who work at Texas Children’s receive extra training in the very specialized area of neonatal nutrition. We are 1 of only 2 federally funded programs nationally to offer this type of specialized training in neonatal nutrition.
- Fellows – These pediatricians are receiving advanced training in neonatal medicine and are supervised by our newborn specialists. They are an important part of your baby's care team.
- Lactation consultants – Our experienced breastfeeding specialists provide a variety of services to breastfeeding mothers and their infants. In addition to outpatient consultations, they have special training to help mothers of hospitalized infants breastfeed or provide breast milk to their babies.
- Neonatal nurse practitioners – Advanced registered nurse practitioners are nurses who are prepared at the graduate educational level and hold either a masters or doctorate degree in nursing. They also have advanced certification as neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP). At Texas Children's, our NNPs are part of an expert health care team who will be involved in the care of your baby.
- Neonatal nurses – Our registered nurses are highly specialized in the care of very sick or premature infants and their families and are integral to the exceptional care provided in our NICUs. Texas Children’s supports advanced training and certification for all professional nurses in this area of medicine, making them a knowledgeable and critical part of our dedicated team of professionals.
- Neonatal clinical specialists – These professionals are registered nurses with master’s degrees, who integrate evidence-based research into the theory and research of neonatal nursing and provide educational consultation to families and other care providers. They establish patient care standards and assess needs in the family, nursery and community to employ educational program based on their findings.
- Neonatologists – The world-renowned neonatologists at Texas Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are specifically trained to handle high-risk newborn situations, ranging from prematurity to birth defects. These physicians have training leading to certification in pediatrics and neonatology by the American Board of Pediatrics and the Sub-board of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. The neonatologists at Texas Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit use evidence-based treatments to provide the best available care for your child.
- Occupational and physical therapists – These specialists help hospitalized babies learn the skills they need to leave the hospital. At Texas Children's Hospital, our occupational and physical therapists often continue to work with babies after they go home.
- Pharmacists – These dedicated professionals supervise the tiny doses of medicine used to treat fragile infants. They work with the NICU medical team to ensure quality and reduce the chances of medication errors.
- Respiratory therapists – Neonatal respiratory therapists apply high-tech life support with compassionate hands-on care to help babies breathe. They manage mechanical ventilators, perform blood gas analysis and monitor a baby’s lung function.
- Social Workers – Clinical Social Workers address the needs of individuals, families, couples, and groups affected by life’s changes and challenges. Social Workers utilize psychotherapeutic techniques to restore and/or enhance the person’s capacity to meet their personal and social needs. NICU social workers are valuable to offer support, counseling, resources, education, and advocacy.
During your time in the NICU you may also meet social workers, chaplains and pediatric residents.