NICU: Communicating With the Staff - Topic Overview
The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) staff are vital not only to
your infant's health but also to your understanding of your infant's condition.
When you are with your infant's doctor or nurse, ask whatever questions you have about your infant's health and care. The NICU staff
understands that this is all new to you. It's a good idea to keep a running list
of written questions to refer to when you're on the unit.
Expect the NICU to be both a stressful place for you and a stressful
place for the staff to work. Events on the NICU can unfold quickly, and
communication can sometimes suffer. With this in mind, be prepared for any of the following problems:
- Moving of your infant's bed in your absence, due
to patient changes on the unit
- Changes in your infant's attending
doctor, a result of staffing rotations
- Communication problems
between you and a staff member or between medical staff
- Personality conflict between you and a staff
- Disagreement between you and a staff member about your
If you encounter communication problems on the NICU:
- Be assertive. Speak calmly and frankly about what
troubles you and what you would like to happen instead.
- If you're
concerned that you may anger someone who cares for your infant, talk to the
NICU social worker or family advocate. This person can advise you as well as
function as a mediator between you and another person.