Healthcare for our Smallest Patients
The Small Wonders Team at St. Joseph Medical Center cares for infants who have critical needs or who are premature. Our doctors, nurses and staff are specially trained to care for newborns who require medical intervention, surgery or just need some extra time to grow.
The 35-bed unit can be overwhelming. It is filled with state-of-the-art equipment that seems over-large and loud next to these small babies. We encourage parents to ask questions and become comfortable with the environment in order to provide comfort and reassurance to your Small Wonder(s).
Family members are the most important people on our healthcare team. While your baby is in the NICU, we encourage you to spend as much time as possible with your baby. We respect your cultural and family values in making healthcare decisions. Please ask us for any information you need in making decisions.
Parents are asked to check in with staff each time they arrive at the NICU. Two members of the family (mother and father/significant other) will be issued an arm band which must be worn at all times during the hospitalization.
- All visitors, before entering the NICU, are asked to roll up their sleeves and wash their hands and arms thoroughly to reduce the chance of infection for the babies.
- Parents are encouraged to visit as often as possible. There will be times when the unit is closed to visitors: for instance during nursing shift changes, 6-8 a.m. and 6-8 p.m. or when any baby is having a special procedure.
- We especially encourage “Kangaroo Care” which is holding the baby skin to skin.
- Only two visitors per family at a time, please. One visitor, age 16 or older, may be accompanied by the baby’s parent.
- Brothers and sisters age 2 and over may visit by appointment. The children must be screened by our staff for the risk of infection; please bring immunization records. Children 16 and under, who are not siblings, are not allowed in the NICU.
- There is a NICU waiting room with a television. Vending machines are located nearby.
- We have a lactation room, pumps and a freezer available to nursing mothers. Please let your nurse know if you need to see our Lactation Consultant.
- Visitors are not allowed if they have a cold or fever or have been exposed to a contagious disease.
For Your Support
- There are many different people who will assist you during your stay. We call them our Interdisciplinary Team. It is very important to us that all aspects of your care are addressed. Some of the team members you may meet are;
- Chaplains – Chaplains are available at any time to help with your spiritual care. Please let the NICU staff know if you would like to visit with a chaplain. The St. Joseph Medical Center Chapel is located on the 2nd floor of the Pavilion.
- Social Workers – A social worker is available to All NICU families. They help address family-related issues such as financial or housing problems and discharge planning.
- Occupational Health will help you with after discharge exercises or special follow up to maximize the developmental needs of your baby.
- Dietitian – A dietitian will visit with parents towards the end of a baby’s stay to discuss nutritional plans.
- Small Wonders Volunteers – These special people have been screened and trained to hold and soothe newborns.
During your baby’s stay, parents may call 713.757.7564 to talk with the nursing staff. We understand that friends and other family members are concerned about your infant, but only parents will be given confidential medical information.
SJMC Introduces VeinViewer in NICU
“State-or-the-art” is always changing, and St. Joseph Medical Center works very hard to make sure the NICU has the latest and best equipment.