What to expect in the NICU- Patient education

The families of infants admitted to the Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) may be unsure of what to expect and need educating on what happens in the department.  Patient education articles are available on Uptodate to help staff explain everything. They are useful as parents and guardians may not be familiar with key terms such as NICU, neonatal or incubator.

Key questions which families may need answering is why does their baby need to go to the NICU, who will take care of their baby and what kinds of tests and treatments are given. Being able to offer assurance is important.  Staff working within the NICU should be able to explain that this is the place for premature babies to receive special care where trained staff will use special equipment to monitor and treat babies. Knowing where to signpost families to for additional support from social workers, chaplains and counsellors is useful for all staff to know. This ensures parents receive the most support in a difficult time.

Patient education articles are available on a range of topics. Find out more on Uptodate.

About michelledutton

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