What You Need to Know When Your Baby is in the SCN

The Special Care Nursery (SCN) is filled with different sounds and noises. Each piece of equipment, including the beds, ventilators, monitors and intravenous (IV) pumps, has a different alarm. The purpose of these alarms is to tell the staff to check on your baby. Do not let these alarms frighten you; there may or may not be something wrong. Some alarms are actually good news! Your experienced nurse can tell with a brief glance whether or not your baby needs assistance or not. So, relax and enjoy your time with your baby and know that we are monitoring the sounds in the SCN.

The SCN is open to parents and grandparents 24 hours a day. All other visitors must be accompanied by a parent. To protect all of our babies and to keep noise at a minimum, only two people at a time are allowed at the bedside, and at least one must be a parent or grandparent. During procedures and emergency situations, visitors may be asked to leave the nursery temporarily. During flu season, these visitation guidelines may be adjusted to provide the best possible protection of our infants.

To help us protect your baby, if you are sick, please do not visit until you have been cleared by a doctor or nurse. Small, young babies catch infections very easily and may not be able to fight them off as well as older children and adults. If you have any signs of an infection, such as a fever, cough, sore throat or other cold symptom or you have recently been around someone with an infection like chicken pox, call and talk with your baby's nurse before coming to visit.

Sibling visitation is encouraged in order to help the infant become a part of the family. All siblings must be screened for infectious illnesses at each visit. Parents are required complete a Sibling Visitation Survey for all children before they visit the SCN. Siblings should be accompanied by a parent during all visits. How often children visit and how long they stay during each visit should be determined based on each childs age and his or her attention span. Children in the waiting room should be supervised by an adult at all times.

Hand Washing
To help reduce the risk of infection in the SCN, all staff members and visitors are required to wash their hands for three minutes (three-minute scrub) each time they enter into the SCN. Scrub sinks with brushes are located just inside the units for your use. Foam hand sanitizer is located at each baby's bedside to use after changing diapers, touching your cell phone, etc.

Patient Rounding
Each day, your baby's physician, nurse practitioner (NP) and other team members will visit your baby's bedside together to discuss the care plans for the day. You are invited to listen to the discussion and ask any questions you may have. This visit is always done during the day shift, but times vary depending on the number of patients in the SCN.

Family-Centered Care
It is our belief that health-care providers and family members are partners, working together to best meet the needs of each child. Parents and other family members provide important strength and support for the baby. Your insights can help improve the care provided by the professional staff and help us design better programs and friendlier experiences.