A higher level of NICU care for your newborn

We hope for a healthy and easy delivery for every birth. That does not always happen. Sometimes health issues arise that can keep a newborn hospitalized longer than expected. For times like this Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center has a state-of-the-art Level IIIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where sick babies, especially those who are premature, receive specialized treatment.

Fountain Valley’s NICU can treat infections, birth defects, breathing difficulties, growth restriction and maternal health problems. A level IIIB NICU is a unit dedicated to caring for the smallest and sickest of newborns. Our level of NICU gives your baby access to a wider range of pediatric specialists, ventilation support systems, imaging capabilities and surgeries. Full-term babies can also be treated in the NICU for conditions such as anemia, jaundice, heart problems or breathing issues. Our NICU features 23 special care (Level IIIB) nursery beds that are certified by California Children’s Services.

High-risk Infant Follow-up Program

We also offer a High-risk Infant Follow-up Program designed to help children who required neonatal intensive care and may remain at risk for other problems in the future. Respiratory problems, cognitive delay, speech or hearing impairment, and orthopedic problems are some of these concerns. The Fountain Valley NICU program provides developmental assessment and follow-up for up to 3 years for infants who meet certain criteria upon discharge. Criteria may include premature birth, low birth weight, low Apgar Scores or birth trauma with developmental delays.

A team certified in caring for high-risk and premature infants addresses the medical, nutritional, neurological, developmental and social needs of our young patients. Clinic assessments are conducted at 4-6 months, 9-12 months and 18-36 months by a neonatal physician specialist, a developmental specialist and a neonatal nurse. Other ancillary service specialists such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, social worker, or registered dietician may also be involved.

If the follow-up program is recommended for your child, your first appointment for the clinic will be made through the NICU prior to discharge. Your nurse will make sure you know how to access the clinic before you and your baby go home.

Find a Pediatrician

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Find a Pediatrician with Answers to These 10 Questions

In all the excitement of a baby’s pending arrival, one important task that’s often overlooked is finding a pediatrician. Other instances, such as a move to a new city, may also put you in the position of having to look for new healthcare providers for the whole family. While researching potential doctors for your kids can be overwhelming, having a list of interview questions to ask can help narrow down the candidates.

How to Get Started?

Ask your friends, family and neighbors for recommendations, then start doing your research. Contact pediatricians that you think might be a good fit for your family, and set up a time to meet. Some pediatricians have preset days and times for meeting prospective patients, some do not. Some doctors can accommodate a phone or email interview, and some don’t participate in interviews at all. It’s important to find a pediatrician that works with your schedule, can meet your expectations and will be forthcoming with their availability.

Interview Questions for Pediatricians

Make sure the pediatricians you choose to interview are accepting new patients and take your health insurance. Once you have a list of potential pediatricians for your child and are comfortable with their background, training and certifications, get to know them better by asking additional questions. Here are 10 interview questions to consider:

  1. Do you have separate waiting areas for well and sick visits?
  2. What is your policy on taking and returning phone calls? Is there a nurse line to answer routine questions?
  3. Is this a group practice? Will another physician or registered nurse cover for you at times?
  4. What are your hours? Are you available on weekends?
  5. Will you be able to see my child for same-day appointments?
  6. What hospitals are you affiliated with and/or will you be able to visit my newborn in the hospital?
  7. Are there extra charges for things like calling into the nurse line, weekend office visits or after-hours visits?
  8. What is your philosophy on vaccinations?
  9. How long have you been in practice and what are your credentials?
  10. What tests are handled in the office, and what tests, if any, are done elsewhere?

While there are no right or wrong answers, it’s important that you find a doctor that makes you feel comfortable regarding the care that your baby will receive as he or she grows. Establishing good communication with your pediatrician from the start will help build a healthy, trusting relationship for years to come.