Who's Who in the NICU and What Do They Do?

The neonatal health care teams at Emory University Hospital Midtown are made up of dedicated professionals specially trained in caring for premature infants. During your baby's stay in the Special Care Nursery (SCN), you will work together with each team member as a valuable part of the care team.

  • Neonatologist - A neonatologist is a specially trained doctor who is board certified in pediatric medicine and the care of newborns. Neonatologists lead our care teams and will oversee the care of your infant. A neonatologist is available 24 hours a day in the SCN.
  • Neonatal Fellow - A board-certified pediatrician who has chosen to specialize in neonatology by training for three additional years under the supervision of board-certified neonatologists.
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) - NNPs are registered nurses with additional education and training in the care of newborns. An NNP works in with a neonatologist to assess your baby's condition and care for your baby. An NNP is available in the SCN 24 hours a day to quickly respond to medical emergencies if needed.
  • Registered Nurse (RN) - An RN provides the daily care for your baby. All RNs in the SCN are specially trained in the care of newborns and will help you learn about and care for your special baby.
  • Respiratory Therapist (RT) - An RT provides help with any breathing issues your baby may have and with setting up and monitoring equipment that assists with breathing.
  • Physical Therapist (PT)/Developmental Specialist - PTs work with babies to determine how their nervous system is developing and help them properly develop their muscles. They also help with feeding issues such as helping premature babies learn to feed.
  • Social Worker - Our social worker is available to provide emotional support throughout your babys stay in the SCN. The social worker can also be a source of information for community resources such as Women, Infants & Children (WIC) benefits, parent groups and helpful hotlines and can assist with Medicaid benefit applications and insurance issues. The social worker also helps with discharge planning, such as making arrangements for home health care and medical equipment and providing referrals for support groups and other services you may need once your baby leaves the hospital.
  • Lactation Consultants - A health-care professional who provides assistance with breast-feeding and can help resolve breast-feeding challenges. A lactation consultant can also help with breast milk pumping and breast-feeding for mothers of babies that need to remain in the SCN for extended stays.
  • Unit Clerk - The unit clerk is the first face you see when entering the SCN. The clerk greets families, answers phone calls, makes referral appointments and provides other assistance as needed.
  • Nurse Technician - Our nurse technicians keep your baby's bedside stocked with supplies and clean linens and make sure that all of our equipment remains clean and in good shape. They also help the unit clerk greet parents and answer phone calls.
  • Chaplain - Our chaplains are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for spiritual and emotional support, prayers and sacraments/ordinances. Your own minister, priest, rabbi or other spiritual advisor is always welcome to visit the SCN and provide for your spiritual needs.