Covenant Children's operates two intensive care units for kids
The first is our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for neonates/newborns
who may be born prematurely, have congenital health problems, or otherwise
require intensive care upon birth.
The second is our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for non-newborn
kids who require intensive care - such as ventilation.
Read on for more detailed descriptions of each.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Newborn babies who need intensive medical attention often are admitted
into a special area of the hospital called the Neonatal Intensive Care
Unit (NICU). Covenant Children's NICU is a 43 bed level IV NICU -
the highest level of designation in the State of Texas.
Level 4 NICUs are required to able to provide care to patients with the
highest acute care needs, with virtually no transfers out to other facilities.
Level IV NICUS must also be capable of providing surgical repair of complex
congenital or acquired conditions.
Our facility has a full range of pediatric medical and surgical subspecialities
as well as pediatric anesthesiologists to care for our NICU patients.
Babies in the NICU are primarily cared for by our team of neonatologists
and neonatal nurse practitioners. NICU nurses specialize in and have special
training and certification in providing care for the smallest and most
fragile babies. Therapists, dietitians, lactation consultants, pharmacists,
social workers, and chaplains are also part of the NICU team.
Many times babies and children in the region need a higher level care than
can be provided in smaller hospitals. As a level IV NICU, we maintain
a specialty transport team of trained nurses and respiratory therapist
that travels by air or ambulance to regional hospitals to stabilize and
safely transport these patients back to Covenant Children’s.
We also take a family-centered approach to care. As of 2019, we began offering
the NICVIEW® webcam system to parents of NICU patients. All 43 of
our NICU beds are equipped with a webcam that streams live video of their
newborn that the parent, and anyone else they chose, can access via webpage
or phone app. Please
click here for more information on the NICVIEW® camera system.
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Children who need special care for a critical condition are admitted to
the hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The 20-bed
unit is staffed with physicians, nurses and other care professionals that
are trained and skilled in caring for children with serious or life-threatening
A physician specializing in caring for critically ill children - a Pediatric
Intensivist - is on the unit 24 hours a day.
Our PICU also serves as an intermediate or step-down care unit. Children
in intermediate care – those who are improving but not yet ready
to leave intensive care – are followed by a pediatric hospitalist,
a hospital-based physician who cares exclusively for hospitalized children.