Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) | Career Profiles | Careers | Dartmouth-Hitchcock
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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Overview

Our world class Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) serves the needs of level I through level III infants including: premature infants, critically ill newborns, and those with cardiac, surgical, neurological, and metabolic diseases. We provide critical care support and manage care for babies that require surgical procedures, cardiac evaluation and treatment, PDA ligations, high frequency ventilation, and nitric oxide treatment. We transfer babies to other facilities for major cardiac surgical needs and ECMO. Nurse-to-patient ratios are excellent and vary according to patient acuity.

Environment

Designed with both nurses and patients in mind, our 30-bed unit is a spacious and pleasant environment. Its many windows overlook our beautiful 220-acre woodland campus.

Unit philosophy

Our unit has a strong family-centered care focus which is guided by our philosophy:

"We believe that the parent and child relationship is essential. We believe in providing a nurturing environment where the child is part of the family and the family is part of the care team."

Families are welcomed and encouraged to participate in all aspects of their baby’s care. We have an active Parent Council which is comprised of alumni parents. This council provides a forum for information sharing between families and staff that helps facilitate positive family and clinical outcomes.

Unit culture

We offer 12-hour shifts and utilize a cooperative scheduling arrangement that allows for individualized scheduling options while ensuring that unit-staffing needs are met. Our exceptional team uses a multidisciplinary approach to care that involves physicians, nurse practitioners, neonatal nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, residents, interns, and support staff.

A progressive unit, we are continually looking for ways to improve the care we provide to infants and families and actively seek ideas and suggestions from staff. Through participative decision-making, we provide an environment that promotes a sense of ownership and autonomy.

Educational opportunities

The Intensive Care Nursery is a professional and supportive unit. We have a dedicated Clinical Nurse Specialist, two Clinical Educators and a wonderful mix of new and experienced staff, some with over 25 years of experience caring for infants. We have an active Education Council and offer multiple educational opportunities including an annual tertiary conference. Our comprehensive nurse orientation program is competency-based and includes 6 to 12 weeks of clinical preceptorship for experienced nurses and up to 7 months of clinical preceptorship for new graduate nurses. Additionally, new graduate nurse orientation includes neonatal specific classes, a self-study neonatal/perinatal learning module and simulation based training.

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