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Infant Intensive Care Nursery

The Intensive Care Nursery at Temple University Hospital is located on the third floor of the Rock Pavilion where we are in close proximity to the Delivery Room and Mother-Baby Unit. We are a Level III Unit and have an affiliation with St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

The Intensive Care Nursery is staffed 24 hours a day with board-certified neonatologists (doctors specially trained in newborn intensive care), physician assistants and respiratory therapists. The unit’s registered nurses have an average of 10 years’ experience in neonatal intensive care. In addition, over 50% of our nurses have their certification in this specialty. 

Other team members you may communicate with include:

  • Social workers

  • Case managers

  • Physical therapists

  • Speech therapists

  • Occupational therapists

  • Ophthalmologists.

Support staff includes our unit clerks, patient care assistants and environmental staff. Clergy is available on request.

Services Offered

Services provided in the Intensive Care Nursery include:

  • Breastfeeding support

  • Infant CPR classes

  • Kangaroo care

  • Nutritional support

  • Ophthalmology (eye specialist)

  • Physical therapy

  • Primary nursing

  • Scrapbook journaling

  • Speech therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

At Temple Health, we welcome and expect your questions. We realize that this may be a very trying time for you and you may feel a bit overwhelmed. Sometimes it helps to write your questions down as you think of them and bring these questions with you.

How long will my baby have to stay in the intensive care nursery?

This is probably the most frequently asked question. It’s not possible to determine upon admission how long your baby will remain in the unit. However, once your baby is able to feed, grow and stay warm, they are usually ready for discharge. For very preterm babies, this may take some time because it takes coordination to suck, swallow and breathe. In addition, it takes energy. 

We begin to prepare for discharge upon admission. That is why your frequent visits are really important.

Why is there a limit on visitors?

Sick infants and premature infants are at risk for infection. Because of this, we use different measures to reduce this risk, including hand washing and limited visitation. We limit our visitors to parents and grandparents. 

It’s also important that if you or a family member is sick to limit contact to telephone calls to check on your baby. While family members are welcome, no one should visit with any signs of a cold or flu. We want you to spend as much time as you can with your baby during their stay.

What is all the noise and equipment?

Your nurse will explain all the monitors and equipment needed for your baby. All babies in the intensive care unit are on a monitor, which allows us to monitor their heart rate, breathing rate and oxygen status. These machines may alarm at times. 

Some babies may need an IV line as well. This IV line may be in the arm, hand or foot, but it may also be in a special line placed within the umbilicus. 

Some babies in the intensive care unit need respiratory support, which may include oxygen that is delivered through small tubing secured in the nose. Or, they may need assistance to breathe with a machine called a ventilator.

When can I feed my baby?

Your neonatologist will determine when your baby is ready for feedings. For the preterm infant, feeding is work. It takes them a while to coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing altogether. Until they are ready for nipple feeding, we will feed them with a small tube that is passed through the mouth or nose into the stomach. The best milk to feed them at any time is breast milk.

How can I store and pump breast milk?

We have a room on the unit with a breast pump for your use. In addition, case managers are available to assist you with obtaining a pump for use at home. The nursing staff can give you information on how to pump, including how often to pump, how long to pump and how to store your breast milk.