| NMCSD Opens New NICU
 

SAN DIEGO (August 14, 2009) - The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by an open house Aug. 14 to show the new renovations and expansion of the ward.

 

This is the first significant renovation of the NICU since it opened in 1988. The first phase of the $7.84 million project was completed in 18 months. The renovation increased space while updating the technology in the NICU. The new NICU also created more of a “family-centered environment,” said Deborah Norton, Pediatric Nursing department head.

 

“When someone is ill it’s not just the person you take of, it’s the entire family. In an environment like this we can make sure that we pay attention not only to the baby’s needs but the family’s needs as well. This is in perfect alignment of our mission in providing excellent family care,” said Commander, NMCSD Rear Adm. Christine M. Bruzek-Kohler.

 

The previous NICU was an open bay that made noise control challenging and baby separation was limited due to the smaller space, which also impacted family privacy and risk of infection. In the new NICU, a pod room design was incorporated to accommodate four babies per pod, which improved privacy, increased space and reduced the risk of infection.

 

Furthermore, special ceiling tiles and laminate floor were installed to absorb sound for noise reduction, a central monitoring system at the nurse’s station allows the staff to easily distinguish which baby needs attention, and visiting hours have been increased to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, a breast feeding room and a quiet room for families to talk with medical providers were added to the renovation.

 

“The renovation is really about the babies and the families. It’s about giving them the space that enables us to improve the safe quality care we provide and at the same time preserve patient privacy and eliminate all the disruptive elements that are detrimental to infant development,” said Capt. Douglas Carbine, NICU division head.

Previously staffed and supplied as two separate areas, the new NICU now allows for social workers, pharmacists, physicians, nurses and hospital corpsman that comprise the NICU staff to be in a centralized area. Families can have their questions answered without leaving the ward. “Its one stop shopping, everything we need for the NICU is right here,” said Norton.

 

The next phase of the project is expected to be completed six to nine months after patients and staff members move into the new NICU later this month. The old space will be renovated into a waiting room, staff offices, locker rooms, lounge, call room, the Fetal Assessment Unit and two rooming-in-rooms where mothers of NICU patients will be able to spend time with their newborn.

 

For more information about NMCSD, please visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Pages/default.aspx

Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Anastasia Fitzgerald

   

SAN DIEGO (August 14, 2009) – The new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD). The NICU hosted an open house to showcase the ward's expansion in space and technology. The renovation project provided upgrades such as ceiling tiles and laminate floor that absorb sound for noise reduction and a central monitoring system at the nurse’s station, which helps the staff easily distinguish which baby needs attention. This is the first significant renovation of the NICU since it opened in 1988. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jake Berenguer/RELEASED)

SAN DIEGO (August 14, 2009) – Shown is a mock set up of the new pod design in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD). The NICU hosted an open house to showcase the ward's expansion in space and technology. The renovation project provided upgrades such as ceiling tiles and laminate floor that absorb sound for noise reduction and a central monitoring system at the nurse’s station, which helps the staff easily distinguish which baby needs attention. This is the first significant renovation of the NICU since it opened in 1988. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jake Berenguer/RELEASED)