Children’s Hospital Central California has become the first hospital in the state to offer private rooms in their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Children’s has the only Regional Level III NICU in Central California, and the 104-bed unit now includes 21 private and two semi-private rooms. The larger units continue to offer great care while the individual rooms are used for care-appropriate patients and families, allowing parents to remain at their baby’s bedside throughout their stay.
“Typically, moms are out of their delivery hospital in about 48 hours,” said Beverly Hayden-Pugh, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. “But a premature baby can be hospitalized for weeks, sometimes months. Our existing unit does a fantastic job of giving parents a real experience with their babies. The private rooms amplify that positive bonding. Even if a baby is premature, moms and dads get the hands-on, loving experience they will only find at a children’s hospital.”
The rest of the Hospital has had private rooms since the move to a new facility in 1998. Children’s leaders examined data showing that private NICU rooms have proven very beneficial for babies in some of the nation’s top hospitals, and made the decision to become the early-adopter of the concept on the West Coast.
Each room has a private bathroom, a sleeping couch for parents and all the equipment needed to care for a premature infant. The rooms, with the ability to sleep-in, offer a level of bonding important to families. This helps to develop and support the parent/child connection by providing an environment where the family can interact like they would at home.
As a Regional NICU, Children’s provides not only 24-hour coverage by board certified neonatologists but also consultations from medical and surgical subspecialists. Children’s specialty-trained nurses and respiratory care professionals have all made careers out of caring for neonates. That’s a feature you’ll only find at one of the country’s premier pediatric hospitals.
"It's simple," Hayden-Pugh said, "We care for kids and their families exclusively, we understand their special needs. Adding a program like this is a perfect fit and one of the big reasons new moms choose Children’s Hospital.”