NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - By 2018, the state of Texas will require hospitals to certify the level of service it can provide for newborns.
As a result, many hospitals are launching new and improved services.
This week, Nacogdoches Memorial Health is the latest to show off its care to babies and moms. On Friday, the hospital will hold an open house for its Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
One baby girl was fortunately very healthy, but she wasn't too happy about helping Nacogdoches Memorial Health show off its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
"We listen to their heart to make sure it's regular," said Alisha Stewart, the nurse manager of Nacogdoches Memorial's NICU. "Make sure it's fast enough, not too fast, not to slow."
Cardiac monitors, ventilators, and feeding apparatus are just some of the machines designed to keep premature babies alive in a neonatal intensive care unit.
"It's not just about the monitors. It's also about the nursing care and assessment skills," Stewart said.
On July 11th, Nacogdoches Memorial launched its Level 3 NICU. The higher designation than other hospitals in the area made sense based on the high volume of babies born at the county supported hospital.
"We decided we wanted to be a Level 3 facility," said Linda Lawson, Nacogdoches Memorial's chief nursing officer. "We've been doing Level 2 babies for a long time, those that require IVs and photo therapy and things of that nature, oxygen, and so it was a just a natural progression."
Rigid inspections will come later to obtain state certification.
"We now have a neonatologist on site, lives in town who's going to run our NICU," Lawson said. We have neonatal nurse practitioners on every shift and we have trained all of our staff on how to take care of these babies."
"And that's a wonderful thing for families," Lawson said.
Nacogdoches Memorial Health has a contract with Longview Good Shepherd for a doctor and training assistance.
Should a baby need a higher level of care Cooks Children's Hospital has the referral service.
Tours of Nacogdoches Memorial Health's NICU will begin at 2:30 p.m. Friday.