Who's who in the NICU

Charge nurse / team leader
Co-ordinates all NICU activities.

Patient administrative assistant
Assists the charge nurse / team leader in the coordination of NICU activities.

Staff nurse
A registered nurse who has specialized knowledge in caring for babies in the NICU. Of all the caregivers you will meet, the staff nurse is the person with whom you will have the most contact with during your baby's stay.

Staff neonatologist
A pediatrician with advanced education and training in the care of critically ill premature or term infants. They co-ordinate and direct the care of all babies in the NICU.

Neonatal fellow
Pediatricians who are continuing their education to be neonatologists.

Nurse practitioner-pediatrics (NP)
An experienced neonatal nurse with a master's degree and specialized education in caring for the needs of critically ill premature or term infants. NPs work together with the rest of the team to plan the best course of treatment for babies in the NICU.

NICU resident
A doctor who is specializing in pediatrics, obstetrics, or family practice. In consultation with the staff neonatologist and fellow, they participate in the medical management of your baby.

Clinical clerk
A medical student doing clinical placement in the NICU. They work under the supervision of the physician.

Discharge co-ordinator
Prepares babies and families for transfer to another hospital or discharge home.

Registered respiratory therapist (RRT)
A therapist with education and training in all aspects of respiratory care to provide support for your baby's breathing.

Social workers
They assess psychosocial, emotional and financial needs of families and offer support as required. They also help families find resources in the hospital and in the community.

A specialist in the nutritional management of babies in the NICU, including both intravenous nutrition and oral feeds your baby will receive. They are also available for individual counselling about maternal nutritional needs and concerns.

Infection control co-ordinator
A healthcare worker with specialized education in infection control and prevention.

Breastfeeding resource nurse
A registered nurse with specialized training to help breast pumping and breast-feeding mothers in the NICU.

Pediatric physical therapist
A specialist in child development who answers questions about development, helps with therapeutic activities and makes referrals to other clinical services.

A health care professional educated in drugs and their effects. NICU pharmacists have special training and experience with babies and ensure that babies receive the best possible drug therapy. They can also answer questions about medications for your baby or medications that you may be taking, especially related to breastfeeding.

Pharmacy technicians
These specially trained technicians prepare and dispense medications for babies in the NICU. They prepare all medications and solutions for intravenous use in a special "clean room" using sterile techniques as an infection control process.

Patient care manager
Manages all nursing staff and patient relations. Questions and comments should be relayed to the patient care manager.

Parent coordinator
Has had infants in the NICU and has returned in a support role. Organizes parent activities and helps the NICU provide patient and family-centred care.

Feeding room technicians
Collect pumped milk, prepare feeds for all babies in the unit and manage stored breast milk.