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Kalispell Regional Healthcare

Family-Centered Services

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Services

Family in the NICU Advanced care for premature or sick infants:
  • Monitoring and support of vital body functions
  • Intravenous therapy including antibiotics and total parenteral nutrition
  • Placement and maintenance of umbilical lines and peripherally inserted central catheters
  • Conventional and high-frequency ventilation
  • Nitric oxide
Support and care for families:
  • Lactation support
  • Family care conferences
  • Interdisciplinary rounds
  • Support services for families

Neonatal and Maternal Transport Services

NICU transport team Sometimes unexpected emergencies happen in a facility not equipped to care for the pregnant woman or sick newborn. Kalispell Regional Medical Center’s A.L.E.R.T. air ambulance program is proud to have a dedicated OB/NICU transport team and equipment available 24 hours a day to provide the care required to safely transport these special patients.

Whether the transport is via helicopter, airplane or ambulance, just one phone call activates the team, allowing the referring doctor to focus on taking care of the patient.

Neonatal Telemedicine

The neonatal telemedicine program provides a 24/7 dedicated board-certified neonatologist to rural critical access hospitals, allowing consultation on difficult cases to help manage newborn care and emergencies.

Your newborn care provider will be linked to a neonatologist at KRH through audio/video equipment using a secure two-way cellular or wireless signal. The equipment, a RP-Lite Robot produced by InTouch Health, can turn its head 360 degrees and zoom in and out at the distant physician’s control. While controlling what the robot does locally, the neonatologist can assess the baby, view X-rays, and guide the staff and physician in care and treatment.

The robot allows for ideal collaboration between the nursery staff, the infant’s care provider and the KRH neonatologist, as if the physician was in the room with them.

NICU Family Advisory Council

Parents and families are at the heart of the work we do in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We know that parents and families have important insights about what we do well and what we could do better. They also bring rich experiences and many different resources to our efforts to provide the best care possible.

The NICU Family Advisory Council is made up of parents who have had one or more children in the NICU, as well as doctors, nurses and social workers from the NICU staff.

The mission of the council is to improve communication with and services to families while they are in the NICU and after they go home. Through the NICU Family Advisory Council, parents provide input on NICU policies and resources, as well as contribute their expertise on specific issues that affect families.

If you have had a child in the NICU and are interested in being part of the NICU Family Advisory Council, please call (406) 751-5391 for more information.

Reach Out and Read Program

Reading to a NICU baby Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

The Reach Out and Read program builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning in infancy. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Kalispell Regional Medical Center has brought the Reach Out and Read program to the bedside, encouraging parents to read to their newborns. Even though they may be premature and unable to do many of the things full-term infants do, premature babies respond to their parents' voices, especially to the rhythmic sounds of reading.

Evidence shows that Reach Out and Read families read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills. During the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. Even though school may seem like a long way off for these tiny patients, it is the goal of the NICU to provide every baby with the best start possible.

NICView for NICU Parents

Having a premature or sick baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is stressful enough, but when parents are separated from their infant there is an added level of anxiety. That is why the NICView system is such a welcome addition to the NICU. The NICView system gives parents the ability to log in anytime, day or night, to see their baby in real time. All they need is the provided password and access to the internet on their phone, tablet or computer.

Some infants spend several weeks or months in the hospital. Many parents have obligations such as work or other children that require them to be away from their baby. NICView allows them to continue to develop a connection with their infant, even when they are not physically in the NICU.

NICU Story Bead Group

Join other NICU moms for snacks and crafting. You will have the opportunity to work on NICU story beads to recognize the emotions, remember the milestones, and reflect on the trials and triumphs that make your story your very own.

Incentivized Learning Program

Parents are encouraged to participate in our incentivized learning program. Through a variety of activities such as homework, videos and classes, parents can earn vouchers to redeem at the Hope Resource Center for baby items including diapers, wipes, clothing, breast pumps and pillows, strollers, cribs and more.
 
Examples of incentivized activities:
  • Watching NICU-specific videos
  • Reading educational pamphlets and completing homework
  • NICU Story Bead Group
  • Participating in multidisciplinary rounds
  • Completing applications for assistance
  • Accepting a follow-up public health nurse referral
  • Attending AA or NA groups if applicable
  • Smoking cessation if applicable
  • WIC appointments
  • Performing skin to skin, infant massage, giving a bath
  • Turning in breast pumping logs with a goal of six to eight times a day
  • Learning infant CPR
  • Attending discharge class