Neonatal intensive care in Idaho's Treasure Valley

Our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is prepared 24/7 to provide extra attention to West Valley Medical Center’s most vulnerable patients. We know it can be alarming to learn your newborn requires supervision in our NICU, but rest assured your baby is in expert, compassionate hands with us.

To speak to the NICU director, please call (208) 455-4060.

Our NICU has board-certified physicians specialized in neonatology, as well as neonatal nurse practitioners on-site throughout the day, providing expert care for your little one. However, these experienced providers are only part of your baby’s care team.

Your baby’s NICU care team

At West Valley Medical Center, we take a multidisciplinary team approach to caring for babies in the NICU. Your baby’s care team involves healthcare professionals from several different units, and you may see the following medical professionals in the unit:

  • Neonatologists
  • Neonatal nurse practitioners
  • Registered nurses
  • Charge nurse
  • Unit director
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Lactation consultants (please call (208) 455-4093 for breastfeeding questions)
  • Social workers

NICU nurses are specially trained in newborn resuscitation and stabilization to provide the best care available for your newborn. The unit’s charge nurse is your family’s point of contact while your baby is in the NICU. If you cannot reach the charge nurse, or if you feel the charge nurse has not resolved an issue, please contact the unit director at (208) 455-4060.

A WVMC social worker will contact you during your stay to make sure your needs are being met and questions are being answered. They will discuss any items you may need for your baby (such as clothes, diapers or a car seat) and refer you to community agencies who may be able to provide you with assistance.

Babies, especially ill or premature babies, may require close monitoring, special equipment and therapies after leaving our hospital. Our social workers will assist you with discharge planning and refer you to agencies that provide these services. They are also available Monday through Friday to provide emotional support.

Visiting your baby in the NICU

Parents, grandparents and other supportive family members are encouraged to visit as much as possible. Your visits help you get to know your baby and learn how to care for him/her. Parents who are actively involved in baby’s care during hospitalization promote a healthier outcome for baby.

Your baby’s safety and health is our highest priority. That is why our Family Maternity Center is a “locked unit.” To gain admission, use the call button outside the door. When we receive your call, we will immediately let you in the unit.

NICU visitation policy

  • Since premature or ill infants cannot tolerate too much handling, we ask that no more than two visitors be at the bedside at any time.
  • A parent must accompany visitors other than grandparents.
  • We do not allow visitors younger than 18 years old, even siblings of NICU babies, to visit the NICU. We understand that siblings want to meet the newest family addition, but this is to limit any dangerous exposure for the already-fragile NICU babies.
  • We ask that anyone experiencing even minor symptoms (sniffling, coughing) refrain from visiting the NICU. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory illness for premature and sick babies and poses an acute danger to them. (RSV season lasts from October to April.)

Advanced NICU equipment

Everything in a NICU is new and different for families. Please ask our nurses as many questions as you’d like—it is important to us that you and your family feel comfortable while your baby is in our care.

Below is some of the equipment you may see in our NICU:

Care for smaller, sicker babies

# Equipment  Features/Purpose  Advantages
1

Physiologic monitors

Bedside monitors for heart, respiration, blood pressure and saturation levels.

Portable, modular, adaptable at bedside.

2

Omnibeds

For babies weighing less than 800 grams or critically ill full-term babies. Bed can be “closed” or can open to a radiant warmer when caregivers need full access to baby. Phototherapy lights, humidity control, procedure light, scale.

Creates the most developmentally supportive micro-environment available. Eliminates stress of moving infants from bed to bed.

3

Syringe infusion pumps

Micro-infusion of calculated drips and small-volume infusions.

Precision and control.

4

Radiant warmers

Open bed provides continuous heat to very unstable or extremely premature babies.

Open warmer allows caregivers easy access to the baby from all sides.

5

Hearing screeners

Universal screening for hearing deficits.

Screens both ears at same time.

6

Breast pumps

Two-phase pumping system allows mothers to provide expressed breast milk (gold standard for feeding practice).

Initial, rapid rhythm slows to deeper rhythm for efficient milk expression.