Hollis J. Wiseman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Hollis J. Wiseman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the area’s only Level III unit, offering the most advanced care for premature and critically ill newborns and the area’s only neonatal transport team. We admit approximately 900 babies annually; almost 20 percent of the babies transported to us are from referring hospitals in our region.

Level III NICUs, such as that at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, are equipped to provide comprehensive care to the sickest of newborns. In addition to direct patient care, Level III units participate in research and educational activities. New technologies developed for newborn care are usually initially evaluated in Level III units. Also, hospitals with Level III NICUs have the capability to provide comprehensive perinatal services for mothers and neonates of all risk categories.

The commitment of a hospital to provide Level III neonatal intensive care is quite significant in terms of equipment and personnel. Infants who are critically ill require around-the-clock supervision by a staff skilled in providing respiratory and cardiac support.


Visiting Information

Parent visiting is allowed in the nurseries during designated times. Our intent is to make visitation as comfortable and beneficial as possible for the patients and family members. Visitors other than parents must be 18 years of age or older to enter the NICU.

Parents and designated visitors may visit anytime except for the following:

  • Shift changes: 6:30 a.m. - 8 a.m., 3 p.m.- 4 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. This is to allow patient confidentiality during reports.
  • New admissions: Parents, legal guardian and/or significant other may visit an infant after the infant has been stabilized. Grandparents may visit briefly when an infant is stabilized; subsequent visits must be with parent or legal guardian.
  • Emergency procedures: Occasionally, visitors will be asked to leave the area in the event of a surgical or medical procedure as deemed necessary by the medical staff.

In an effort to provide emotional support, parents will be allowed to select up to four other visitors who, with permission from the parents, may visit without a parent present. These visitors must be identified by either of the infant’s parents. Detailed information concerning the infant’s condition is available only to the infant’s parents. Designated visitors must adhere to all the visitation policies, but are not allowed to bring other visitors into the NICU area.

Before entering the NICU, all visitors are required to remove jewelry and watches and perform a three-minute finger-to-elbow scrub at the visitor sinks located at the NICU entrance. Jewelry may be put back on after the visit is complete.

A maximum of two visitors is allowed at the patient’s bedside at one time. In order to protect the privacy of other patients, all visitors are required to remain at their infant’s bedside. All visitors must be with a parent with the exception of the “new admissions” provision noted above.

All visitors are asked to carry some form of identification. The infant’s ID band is acceptable as long as it remains attached to the parent. Photo identification will be required from the parents on the day of the infant’s discharge home.

Proper attire is required by all visitors in the NICU area: House shoes or shoes, gowns that close, and shirts.

In an effort to maintain infection control, visiting will not be allowed if a visitor displays any of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose, nasal drainage
  • Fever of 100.5 or greater
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Eye drainage, open wound drainage
  • Cold sores/fever blisters
  • Skin rashes of unknown origin
  • Any exposure to or vaccination to any childhood illnesses in the last six weeks: examples; chicken pox, measles, RSV, viruses, flu. The parent/visitor must be symptom-free for 24 hours to gain re-admittance to the NICU.

No one other than parents may receive information by phone concerning an infant without proper identification.


Download the NICU Parent Guide [PDF].


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