Level 3 NICU
The UT Medical Center Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a 67-bed unit that provides care for infants born prematurely, critically ill or in need of special care. Our specially trained NICU staff is on hand to attend deliveries in the hospital within minutes and provides family-centered, compassionate care to the tiniest of patients.
As the state designated Regional Perinatal Center, our experts provide training for health professionals across the region and are available 24/7 for consultation to area providers and NICU transport services as needed. This ensures mothers and babies have access to the best care possible regardless of ability to pay. Our NICU transport team is available by ambulance or helicopter, equipped with advanced respiratory support to treat and transport infants in the East Tennessee region.
Our NICU team is made up of specially trained staff including:
Neonatologist: A pediatrician that has specialty training and advanced education in the care of sick and premature infants. The neonatologist is responsible for overseeing the medical decisions regarding your baby.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioners: A nurse that has specialty training and advanced education in the care of sick or premature infants. Working in collaboration with a neonatologist, the NNP is an expert in neonatal resuscitation; examines, diagnoses, and designs a care plan for your baby; and serves as an education resource for all members of the NICU team.
Neonatal Nurses: Specially trained nurses who provide intensive care for the sick or premature infant at the bedside in 12-hour shifts. They wear turquoise scrubs.
Respiratory Therapists: Specially trained respiratory care providers who manage oxygen support and may intubate infants as needed. They wear navy blue scrubs.
Lactation Consultants: A registered nurse who has completed training and obtained certification to support breastfeeding and pumping for NICU babies.
Registered Dieticians: The nutritional aspects of your baby’s care will be supported by nutritionists who will help optimize your baby’s growth and development and may recommend specific additives for your baby’s breast milk or formula.
Occupational/Physical/Speech Therapists: Not all babies will need the assistance of our therapy team, but if they do, these team members will assist with feeding, proper positioning to provide developmental support, and simple exercises to ensure your baby’s development is on track. They wear maroon and black scrubs.
Phlebotomists: Specially trained lab personnel who are responsible for obtaining blood samples. They wear red scrubs.
Volunteer Cuddlers: Specially trained volunteers who are available to hold babies as needed. They wear lime green scrubs.
Discharge Coordinators: Assist the providers in preparing your information and follow up appointments after discharge.
Case Managers: Every NICU patient is assigned a Case Manager to assist with resources specific to the needs of your baby.
When an infant is born prematurely or with special needs, our NICU team is available to respond within minutes. This provides the family comfort, knowing they are receiving the best care available. After delivery, the mother’s postpartum care is provided on the same floor as the NICU allowing for convenient visitation while she is here.
Moms are encouraged to begin Kangaroo Care, or skin-to-skin, as soon as the baby is ready, to facilitate bonding between mother and baby. If mom wishes to breastfeed, the NICU Lactation Consultant is available to assist in this process.
Nurses will provide daily updates while families visit, and a Neonatologist or Neonatal Nurse Practitioner is available for any additional questions or concerns. When parents can’t be here, our private NICU rooms are equipped with web-based cameras allowing the parents to check in on their baby at their convenience.