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Neonatal ICU
Women's Center

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

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Like most parents, you are looking forward to taking home your new bundle of joy, but that is not possible right now since your baby has been admitted to ORMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Whether your baby was premature or has special needs, we are here to help your baby grow and develop while helping you bond and get to know your baby. Depending on your baby’s condition, you may spend weeks or even months with us. So, we want to make sure you understand our department’s purpose.

Opened when ORMC was built in 1975, our NICU was the first unit of its kind in the Permian Basin. Since that time we have expanded and added state-of-the-art equipment to provide the highest level of NICU care available in the area. We provide highly trained nurses and respiratory therapists around-the-clock to support our board certified neonatologists in meeting the special needs of your sweet baby.

Neonatologist Sanjay Patel, M.D. provides a structured environment for these fragile infants while providing a family-like atmosphere for you and your baby. It is very important for you to bond with your baby as your touch and presence will aid in his/her development. We encourage you to visit and keep up with your baby’s progress. There are a few times throughout the day when we will ask you to wait before coming into the unit, though.

  1. Between Shifts - 6 to 8 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.
  2. While the doctor is examining the babies. If you wish to speak with your
    baby’s doctor, you may do so after he/she has completed examinations.
  3. While special treatments or procedures are in progress.
  4. While the staff is admitting a new baby into the nursery.
    Please understand that we ask you to wait only because we want to give your baby the best care possible.

A visitation list allows four people, of your choice, to visit. We ask that you have no more than two visitors with your baby at a time. The people on this list will be allowed to visit once a day for up to 30 minutes. These visitors must be 18 years old or older and may be asked to show an ID. Once you have made your list, you may not change it. Siblings, over the age of five are allowed a onetime, 10-minute visit.

You are welcome to call and check on your baby at any time by calling (432) 582-8600. However, to protect your privacy, information will only be released to you and will not be released to any other family members or friends.

When you arrive to visit your baby, please call extension 8600 and ask to enter the unit. The doors to the unit are always locked to provide a secure environment. When we invite you into the unit, please scrub your hands and forearms with the scrub brush for at least three minutes and put on a gown provided. The nurse caring for your baby will be happy to explain your baby’s condition with you as well as any treatments or equipment used that day. Since these tiny babies are very susceptible to illness, please do not visit your baby if you are ill or have a cold. This will only jeopardize your baby.

Because of patient confidentiality, we are not able to share information with you about any other baby in the unit. The only infant that we can discuss with you is your own. At the same time, please feel free to visit with other parents. Sharing stories with other families of NICU babies will help you through this process.

If you would like to talk to someone who has had a baby in our intensive care nursery in the past, please let us know. We will try to contact someone who can visit with you. If you feel the need to speak with someone from Social Services, your baby’s nurse can contact them. Social Services can also make you aware of community services available to your baby.

Before your infant is discharged, we will ask you to learn infant CPR. We will also teach you infant care basics. You will also need to make arrangements with a pediatrician for your baby’s follow-up care.

We work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery because we love caring for these babies. Your baby is very special, and we will give him or her our very best care. We also look forward to getting to know you and your family. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.