Having a voice is empowering in most environments, and that holds true for the NICU. In fact, when parents are able to voice their concerns and thoughts, it helps them process the situation. After all, you share the same goal as your NICU care team -- helping your baby. Therefore, a collaborative relationship can be a powerful tool. Express your interest in being a part of your child's care.
Becoming a part of the team also involves learning who its members are and how they work. Find out who's on your care team, from doctors and nurses to social workers and people offering spiritual services. What are their schedules? At what times do shifts change? When does rounding, when the care team gets together to discuss a case, occur?
In addition to finding out about your care team, it's helpful to learn the ins and outs of the hospital, something with which your social worker should be able to help.
Things to research:
- where you can purchase food and eat
- how to access cots and chairs
- the availability of temporary housing
- the locations of phones and computers
- the availability of support groups
- hospital policies.