We understand that it can be very stressful to have a baby in the NICU, and that it is very important for you to know what is happening with your baby each day. Here is a list of different ways you can check on your baby or get updates from the care team:
Leave Questions or Notes on the Communication Board
You can use a dry-erase marker to leave questions or notes for the care team on the Communication Board in your baby’s room. You can also read what the care team has written there for you. This is a good place to let the team know the best way and time to reach you, and if you would like to be called during or after rounds. If you are still in the hospital, you can also leave your room number on the board for the team.
Be present for team rounds
Parents and other caregivers are welcome to participate during rounds. The doctors and nurses can give you an update on your baby’s condition and their plan for the day, and answer any questions you have. Rounds usually happen in the morning, but are a little different each day depending on what is going on in the unit. If it is really important for you to see the team before you leave for the day, please let your nurse know so he or she can check in with the doctors to see when they can come to the room. If you are not able to be present for rounds, one of the team can give you an update later.
Visit Your Baby After Rounds
If you come to the NICU after rounds have finished, one of the doctors may be able to come and give you an update in your baby’s room. Ask your nurse if you would like to speak with a doctor or other member of the care team. Don’t forget to check the Communication Board and Family Mailbox for any new messages or information.
Speak with your baby’s nurse over the phone
You can call the NICU front desk (501-526-1500) and ask to speak to your baby’s nurse. He or she can let you know how your baby is doing. If you would like to speak to a doctor as well, please let your baby’s nurse know; if a doctor is not available to come to the bedside right away, we can arrange for a visit or phone call at another time.
We ask that you try to limit phone calls between 6:30 and 7:30 each morning and evening, to allow nurses to give report without interruptions. Otherwise, you can call the front desk any time of day or night and someone will be available to answer the phone.
Should you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s care that are not answered, other staff is available to assist you. This includes the charge nurse on duty for the shift, and the Clinical Services Manager. The UAMS Patient Relations office is also available and can be reached by phone at 501-296-1039.
Use the AngelEye Camera
You can use the AngelEye system to watch a video of your baby. The AngelEye system also has announcements for families about special events in the NICU, education to help you get ready for discharge, and other resources. Read more about Angel Eye.
Sign up for a MyChart Proxy Account
Setting up a MyChart by Proxy account will allow you to see your baby’s progress notes from the medical team, lab results, and imaging. If you have questions about anything you read in MyChart, please call the NICU front desk (501-526-1500) and ask to speak with your baby’s nurse or doctor.
Schedule a Family Care Conference
Your baby’s assigned social worker can schedule a care conference with your baby’s entire care team; keep reading to learn more about family care conferences.
What is a Family Care Conference?
Family Care Conferences are face-to-face meetings with your baby’s care team. These meetings give you a chance to discuss your baby’s current clinical status and plan of care, and any questions or concerns you may have. Each team member will introduce themselves, explain their role in your baby’s care, and provide you with the opportunity to ask questions.
If you are interested in a Family Care Conference but are unable to attend in person, please notify your assigned Social Worker so we can try to arrange a meeting by phone or video instead.
Family Care Conferences are optional. If you feel that you are receiving adequate updates on your baby’s care, you do not have to set up a meeting. You can always change your mind later. If you do schedule a Family Care Conference, please arrive to the hospital 10 to 15 minutes before the meeting.
Who will attend?
The following NICU care team members are invited to attend Family Care Conferences:
- Physical Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Speech and Language Pathologist
- Registered Dietician
- Discharge Coordinator
- Lactation Consultant
- Social Worker
While we try to schedule Family Care Conferences at a time for all care team members to attend, every member may not always be available. Your assigned Social Worker will coordinate with those care team members to provide an update to you.
We encourage you to bring a family member or friend to the care conference. NICU families must still follow the current NICU visitation policy.
What is discussed?
Below are a few examples of what your baby’s care team may discuss with you during the Family Care Conference:
- NICU care team roles and responsibilities
- Your baby’s current clinical condition, diagnoses, and plan of care
- Kangaroo Care and other participation in care
- Pumping and maintaining milk supply
- Potential length of stay
- Basic discharge goals
- Information on SSI benefits
- Other resources
Can I request a Family Care Conference?
Yes. If you are interested in scheduling a family care conference with your baby’s care team at any point during your baby’s NICU stay, please notify your assigned Social Worker. Your Social Worker will coordinate with you and your baby’s care team to schedule.