The Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Greenville Memorial Hospital offers the region’s largest, most advanced level of specialty care for premature or critically ill infants. As one of the state’s premiere perinatal centers, we’re ready every day—all day—with the latest technology and monitoring equipment specially designed for tiny babies. In addition, our on-site neonatal doctors are available around the clock and backed by the area’s largest number of pediatric subspecialists to serve the 750 babies treated here annually. And when it’s time to bring babies home, our Children’s Hospital is one of the few nationwide with a program to teach parents how to care for children with special needs. The Bryan NICU at Children's Hospital of Greenville Health System (GHS) offers high-quality, high-tech care that is:
Special volunteers rock and hold infants during periods when parents cannot be with their babies. The Family Learning Center offers home-like suites where parents can stay and learn to care for their babies for a few days before they are discharged from the Bryan NICU. This helps provide a comfort level for caring for babies who might need monitors or special medications after discharge.
A recent expansion incorporates leading-edge environmental design based on research that recommends soft lighting and noise reduction while providing sophisticated technology designed specifically for premature and critically ill infants.
For more information about the Bryan NICU, please call (864) 455-7165.
When Your Baby is in the NICU
If your baby is admitted to a special area of the hospital called the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the highly trained doctors, nurses and other healthcare team members of the NICU will provide the specialized care that your baby needs during this time.
The NICU has provided care for sick babies in our region for more than 20 years. The 80-bed NICU at GHS Children’s Hospital cares for more than 800 infants each year. The NICU is divided into two areas. NICU 1 is where all babies are admitted and NICU 2 is a special area that focuses on your baby’s goals for going home.
Your physical presence and emotional support are two of the most important elements in your baby’s healing process. For your baby’s health and safety, we invite you to be an active part of your baby’s stay. Please review the following guidelines and information about your baby’s care.
Depending on your baby’s condition, you and your care partner may be able to see your baby shortly after delivery. Upon admission to the NICU, your baby’s healthcare team will assess his or her condition, connect any needed equipment and make sure that your baby is stable. If you are asked to wait away from the bedside while your baby is admitted, a staff member will show you to the family room, which is located just outside the main NICU entrance.
Two parents or Care Partners will receive a green bracelet upon admission. These bracelets must be worn at all times. If the bracelet is lost, removed or broken, the parent or Care Partner must present a photo ID to the NICU before receiving a new bracelet.
To help ensure privacy, parents will be asked to provide a passcode to receive information over the phone. Please do not visit or ask questions about other patients in the NICU. Following this directive prevents protects the privacy of other patients and families.
For your baby’s protection, the NICU is a locked unit. Each time you come to visit your baby, please use the black phone at the entrance way to let staff know you are here. Because of limited space at the bedside and to provide patient privacy, we request that no more than two people visit at the bedside at a time. Visitors should remain at the baby’s bedside during their visit and are not allowed to stand or meet in NICU hallways. Conversations and phone calls are limited to certain areas.
You will have the opportunity to name 4 individuals that can see your baby without you being present. We asked that you take your time with this selection because the 4 individuals you select must remain the same throughout your baby’s stay. The first time these individuals come to the NICU they will need to show their driver’s license to receive a bracelet. After this first time, they must have the bracelet on to enter the NICU. If they do not have their bracelet on, they will need to show ID each time to enter the NICU. In addition to these 4 individuals with bracelets, you can have 2 additional visitors during regular hospital visiting hours, between 9 am and 9 pm. A parent must be present at the bedside when the daily visitors come into the unit.
Siblings over the age of 3 are able to visit the baby. Due to the intensive care environment, sibling visits are limited to 20 minutes once a day and a parent must be present when the sibling visits. Please note that during flu season, children under the age of 18 may be prohibited from visiting patients, which can impact sibling visitation in the NICU.
You are welcome to bring personal items from home to help personalize your baby’s bedside. Any clothes or blankets brought from home, however, must be taken home to be laundered. Please be sure all personal items are labeled. Because we cannot guarantee their safety, please do not bring valuable or irreplaceable items to the hospital.
Because of various conditions, plants and flowers are not permitted in the NICU. Because of allergies and safety hazards, balloons also are not allowed.
We encourage you to document your baby’s journey with pictures and video recording that can be shared with family. Please note that you are permitted to take pictures of your baby only. It is a privacy infringement to take pictures of other hospital patients.
NICU team members want to be a part of your baby’s hospital memories as well. Please ask team members for permission before including them in pictures.
Family Waiting Area
A waiting area is available for all visitors. It is located just before the double doors of the NICU 1 entrance. A kitchen area, which includes a refrigerator, microwave, coffee and water machine are available for your use. There are also lockers, a bathroom with a changing table, TV and telephone.
Please be respectful of all visitors using the waiting area. We also request that visitors help keep this area tidy. Toys and books are in the waiting area to help entertain young children who are visiting.
Learning About Your Baby’s Medical Care
The NICU team wants you to take an active part in your baby’s care. The team welcomes questions about your baby’s condition, treatment and care. We want you to feel comfortable communicating with us.
A glossary of terms, information about your role as a parent and what to expect from the NICU experience will be shared with you on admission. It may be helpful to write down words you do not understand or questions that you have about your baby.
Healthcare workers may use medical terms that you do not understand. If you do not understand their explanation, ask them to explain things in a way that you can understand. It is important to us for you to understand all aspects of your baby’s care.
Talk with your baby’s doctor and nurses regularly so that you can stay informed on the progress of your baby’s condition.
Staff members should introduce themselves to you when they approach your baby’s bedside. If a staff member forgets to do so, ask for his or her name. There is a board at each baby’s bedside where each of your healthcare team member’s names should be written. Please remind staff members to put their names on the board. This simple step will help you get to know your healthcare team.
Update on Your Baby’s Progress
Upon admission, a password can be created to allow staff to give patient information over the phone. The number to call is (864) 455-7165. No phone calls for updates are permitted during shift changes: 6:30-7:30 a.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m.
If you would like to establish a website where you can post updates so that your family and friends can get information on your baby’s condition—and where they can leave you messages of encouragement—a free service called CarePages is available. For more on CarePages, go to www.carepages.com/ghs or see the card enclosed in this packet.
Is My Baby Hurting?
It is natural to wonder if your baby’s medical condition or medical treatment may be causing your baby pain. The NICU healthcare team is trained to understand and respond to infant signals, particularly those that express pain or discomfort. In some situations, comfort measures may be adequate to ease your baby’s discomfort. In other situations, pain medication may be administered.
Good hand cleaning is the best way to prevent the spread of any possible infections to your baby. All visitors, including parents or guardians, are asked to clean their hands before and after visiting the NICU to decrease the chance for infection. Sinks are located throughout the NICU and waterless hand sanitizer is located at each bedside. Parents and visitors are asked to use waterless hand sanitizer before and after leaving the bedside.
Visitors should not enter the NICU if they have felt sick or have experienced the following symptoms in the past 24 hours: vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, fever, body aches, chills, sore throat, and cough or sinus drainage.
Extra precautions will be taken during flu seasons and outbreaks of RSV and rotavirus because of the increased risk to NICU patients.
Protective gloves and coverings are often worn by the NICU healthcare team. This measure protects both your baby and healthcare team members from possible infections.