NICU Medical Directors
Our team of neonatologists and 12 neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs) are dedicated to the care of our babies. All of our neonatologist are board certified in general pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine and maintains current PALS and NRP certifications. Our neonatologists’ works closely with the medical team to coordinate the plan of care for each patient, provide education and support to our families, perform procedures, and provide education to pediatric residents, nurses and nurse practitioners. They collaborate closely with medical and ancillary team for quality improvement initiatives projects as we strive to achieve excellence in care for our babies.
The NNP is an advanced practice nurse (APRN) with a master’s degree specializing in sick newborn infants and at least 2 years’ experience as a bedside nurse in a level 3 (minimum) NICU. A NNP is prepared to practice across the continuum, providing primary, acute, chronic, and critical care to neonates, infants, and toddlers through age 2. NNPs’ level of care allows them to perform a number of duties, including but not limited to:
- Monitoring specialized equipment, including incubators and ventilators
- Providing education and support to patients’ families regarding neonatal, intensive and, postpartum care
- Dispensing medications under collaborative agreement with a physician
- Performing diagnostic tests and other procedures, such as intubation and blood draws
- Ensuring proper feeding and basic care
Below is a list of some members of our team:
Chaplain – The Chaplain is a professionally trained team member who provides spiritual and emotional support to patients and their families throughout their stay at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. The Chaplain also provides pastoral care to staff members as needed and appropriate, including formally and informally.
Child life specialists – Child life specialists work with children and families in hospitals and other settings to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability.
Dietitians – The neonatal dietitian is a vital participant in helping babies optimize their growth potential and developmental outcomes. The dietitian customize special feeding regimens for each baby, monitor growth and provide nutrition education to parents.
Discharge coordinator- The Discharge Planner ensures a safe and successful transition from the Critical Care setting to home by providing families the necessary education and helping to schedule outpatient appointments.
Lactation consultants – International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) function and contribute as members of the maternal-child health team. They possess the specialized skills and knowledge to assist infants and mothers with breastfeeding.
Neonatal nurse practitioners – A neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) is an advanced practice nurse who works closely with the neonatologist to ensure the highest level of care for all our babies in the NICU.
Neonatal nurses – Neonatal nurses are specially- trained nurses who care for babies with a variety of conditions, such as, prematurity, infection, congenital defects or surgical conditions.
Neonatologists – The neonatologists at Driscoll Children’s Hospital NICU are highly trained to handle the sickest and tiniest and most complex babies.
Occupational, physical and speech therapists - Occupational therapists help children acquire and successfully perform activities of daily living in their environment. Physical therapists assist patients to develop, maintain and restore overall functional ability by improving gross motor skills, strength, balance and coordination. Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists, help patients improve speech, language, voice, feeding and swallowing problems.
Pharmacists – The NICU clinical pharmacist have extensive training in medication therapy management for the unique NICU patients. Our pharmacist rounds daily with the multidisciplinary team and provide valuable insight to ensure the safety and stewardship of the use of all medications used in the NICU.
Respiratory therapists –Respiratory Therapists provide continuous 24-hour coverage in our newborn intensive care unit (NICU). Our NICU respiratory therapists manage any infant who is on high-flow nasal cannula, mechanical ventilation (invasive or non-invasive), including conventional and high-frequency ventilation.
Social Workers – The role of a social worker in the NICU is to support our patients and their families throughout their NICU experience and assist them with a successful transition to home. The support involved includes: assessing immediate circumstances, referral to community resources and agencies, assisting with lodging/ transportation and providing emotional support.
Featured (from left): Stephen Almond, MD, Pediatric Surgeon; Trish Carr, PhD, RNC-NIC, NEA-BC, Associate Chief Nursing Officer; Eric Hamon, President and CEO of Driscoll Health System; Miguel Deleon, MD, Neonatologist; Euming Chong, MD, Neonatologist and NICU Medical Director and Chris Joyal, MSN Ed., RN, CPN, NICU Director.
Driscoll’s Critical Care Transport Team
Driscoll’s Critical Care Transport Team transfers more than 800 neonatal and pediatric patients every year to or from Driscoll Children’s Hospital including local, state, national and even international facilities. Our highly trained team consists of registered nurses, registered respiratory therapists, paramedics and/or emergency medical technicians. Our critical care transport team maintains real-time communication with the accepting physician during all transport. Driscoll’s patient- and family-centered care approach is committed to providing the highest standard of care to our patients and their families.
If your baby needs to be transferred to Driscoll Children’s Hospital, please contact our dispatch center at toll free (800) 879-KIDS (5437).