Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery (NICU)
When the tiniest, critically ill patients arrive at The University of Tennessee Medical Center, they will enter a new multi-million dollar neonatal care nursery designed to speed their growth and development and shorten their hospital stays.
At the medical center we are privileged to have the Tennessee region's only private room Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which is located down the hall from Labor and Delivery and the Mother/Baby unit. It has the unique designation of being the Regional Neonatal Referral Center for East Tennessee and the surrounding area. The unit is staffed by board certified neonatologists (pediatricians with special training to care for premature and sick newborns) and at least one of them is in the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As well as emergency, laboratory and other specialized services—the only nursery of its kind in the region.
Should your baby need specialized care, our private room Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides the highest level of comprehensive care right down the hall.
Many healthcare professionals are involved in the care of sick and/or premature infants. In addition to the neonatologists, the unit has a specially trained team of care providers dedicated to providing your baby the highest level of specialized care possible. This team includes nurse practitioners, case managers (social workers), pediatric pharmacists, pediatric dietitians, neonatal respiratory therapists, specially trained nurses. There is also a pediatric rehab team that includes a physician specialist, physical therapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists. Many other physician specialists are available such as pediatric surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons, retinologists, nephrologists, pulmonologists, urologists, and many others.
- Nurses—Constantly observe the infants, their responses to treatment and their environment. Perform treatments, explain care to parents, provide emotional support and hold and talk to infants.
- Physicians—Neonatologists specialize in the care of sick/premature infants and are available on site 24 hours a day to meet the infant’s special needs.
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioners—Nurses who have received advanced training in the care of sick newborns and work closely with the physicians in deciding the proper plan of care for the infants. They are members of the emergency transport team.
- Other important members of the team include social workers, respiratory therapists, pediatric nutritionists, lactation specialists, physical and occupational therapists, unit secretaries and cuddlers.
Whether expected or unexpected, the admission of your baby to the intensive care unit is a very stressful time. Special tours and educational sessions are available to you if it is likely that your baby will need intensive care. Ask your prenatal care provider to arrange this tour for you. Whether a stay is for a few days, just to stabilize and manage a minor problem, or whether the stay is longer before the baby is strong enough to go home, be reassured that the care your baby will need is available
here at the medical center.
Healthcare coordinators are available by calling 865.305.6970; Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.