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NICU Family Resources

 

Children's Mercy offers a number of support resources for families, which you may find helpful during your family's stay in the NICU. Learn more about all resources available to families spending time in the NICU.

Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed Sunday

Located on the ground floor near the gift shop.

  • Business center with computers, printer, copier, scanner, fax and phone chargers.

  • Comfortable space to relax, read, work, or wait.

  • Children’s play space.

  • Books for adults and children.

  • Private spaces to meet with family members or providers.

  • Consumer health books and assistance finding information on parenting, health and illness.

Learn more about the Kreamer Resource Center for Families

This program connects parents who share a common bond with other parents who have children with a similar diagnosis. This provides invaluable support, as parents can share experiences and information. 

Services available: 

  • Mentor: A trained parent who volunteers to talk to a requestor. Matches are based on the child’s diagnosis, age or needs. Mentors will share experiences, practical information and peer support.

  • Requestor: Someone who is looking for information and/or support. A requestor might be a parent whose child has just been diagnosed or someone who is going through a difficult time. 

You may get a mentor or requestor application from your social worker, parent support program manager, in the Kreamer Resource Center, or access an application online.

Check into Patient Access on the ground floor Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A financial counselor will need to get some information from you to determine whether you may qualify for financial assistance. Some key requirements are: 

  • You must be a resident in the state of Kansas or Missouri. 

  • You have a household income (adjusted for family size) of less than or equal to 300% of Federal Poverty guidelines. View the income guidelines.

  • You have used all your resources from all other programs, including Medicaid.

Patients who receive services at the hospital and have an insurance plan that does not include the hospital in the coverage network are not eligible for financial assistance for those services. 

Learn more about financial services.

View information on our cafeteria and room service options.

Subway 
Open daily, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

The Roasterie
Open daily, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Ronald McDonald House

It's hard enough for a family to cope when a child is seriously ill or injured. When parents and children must travel far from home, the disruption of family life only adds to the stress.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City alleviates some of that stress by providing a temporary home for families who have children receiving inpatient or outpatient treatment for critical illness or injury. Three houses are located within walking distance of Children's Mercy. Each house provides indoor and outdoor spaces for families to relax and socialize while remaining close to their child's bedside.

Families receive their own guestroom, which can sleep up to six people, with attached private bath. Amenities include 24-hour access to a fully-stocked kitchen and pantry, laundry rooms, hygiene products, a medical room as well as support services by caring staff and volunteers. At the Ronald McDonald House, families can be together and keep the routine of normal life, away from hospital lobbies and hotel rooms.

Families who have not previously stayed at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City must be referred by a social worker.

 

Ronald McDonald Room

When a family is spending long, stressful hours at the hospital with a seriously-ill or injured child, parents can find much-needed respite and support inside the hospital in Ronald McDonald House Charities Family Room.

Located on the second floor of the West Tower, the Family Room offers a home-like environment where parents can relax and take care of personal matters such as showering, laundry and meals without needing to go home. The space has a limited number of rooms designed to provide overnight accommodations for parents of PICU, NICU, burn and bone-marrow transplant patients.

Contact your social worker for room availability. 

These accommodations are available free of charge to parents of all children who are inpatients at Children's Mercy.

Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Learn more about the Ronald McDonald House and Room.

Chaplain: A chaplain makes rounds daily to meet every new family in the NICU within 72 hours to explain their role and availability. A chaplain listens to each family to learn what they need and provides emotional and spiritual support.  

Child Life specialists: Provides developmental stimulation and support to infants in the NICU beginning at 32 weeks gestation. They also help support positive coping for families and siblings through resources and education.

Psychologist: Provides tools, techniques, and interventions to help address depression, anxiety, trauma, and stress. The NICU psychologist is also available as an ear for families to express their worries, concerns, or frustrations. The NICU psychologist is also an advocate for families and can support them in advocating for their baby’s medical care. 

Parent support program coordinator: A parent on staff to support families as someone that has had their child in the NICU at Children’s Mercy.  Giving advice from a parent’s perspective and a different outlook or hope after the NICU.  The Parent Support Program Coordinator also organizes events and educational classes for parents/caregivers in the NICU 

Palliative care: Palliative care provides support for infants, children, and adolescents with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. We support the treatment of underlying illnesses while striving to provide the best quality of life possible for our patients. Palliative care is often introduced at the time of diagnosis, and we work with patients' primary health care teams to provide ongoing support. Learn more about palliative care.

Social work: Provides a comprehensive assessment of psychological and social factors impacting health outcomes. They offer supportive counseling related to grief, adjustment to illnesses, and family issues. They assist with trauma situations, crisis intervention, and help with disruptive or dangerous families. They ensure care management and care coordination to ensure patients and families are linked to health and social services to support positive health outcomes.

Patient advocates: Serves as liaisons between patients, families, visitors, hospital staff and administration. Our patient advocates help facilitate problem resolution and support the hospital's goal of meeting and exceeding the needs of patients and families. Learn more about patient advocates.

Language Services: Children's Mercy provides language and sign interpretation for patients and families. Interpreters and multilingual employees are used to fill the request for 63 different language and sign needs.  

To secure an interpreter call: 

  • Spanish contact line (816) 983-6429

  • Telephone contact line (816) 234-3474

  • After hours and weekends page (816) 458-5322

Music Therapy: Music therapists will plan special music tasks based on the needs of the individual patient. Infants can receive music therapy to help them use their senses and to support growth and development.

You can request any of these Support Services by asking your nurse.

Attending neonatologist: A pediatrician who has special medical training in the care of sick newborns.

Fellow: A fully-trained neonatologist who is getting additional medical training in the care of sick newborns.

Resident: A doctor who is getting medical training on taking care of babies.  

Neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP): Health care provider who has special nursing and medical training in caring for sick babies. The NNP can perform medical procedures and care for babies. 

Nursing director: Administrator and clinical leader of the NICU nurses.

Charge nurse: Shift manager of nurses and oversees day-to-day tasks.

Nurses (RN): Health care provider who has nursing training. An RN in the NICU has special training in caring for sick newborns.

Respiratory therapist (RT)Cares for babies with breathing problems. Trained to use medical equipment needed to care for babies. 

Care managers: Oversee baby’s discharge from the hospital, help set up home care services and supplies and follow up with families about insurance coverage for their baby’s NICU stay.

Nutritionist: Trained as an expert in nutrition.  

PharmacistHas special training in how medicines work and the side effects they may cause. 

Occupational therapy (OT): Heath care provider who helps figure out how well babies feed and swallow and what interventions they can use to improve feeding for the baby. 

Physical therapy (PT)Looks at any movement problems babies have and how they may affect things like sitting, rolling over or walking. PT helps a baby improve their muscle strength and coordination. 

Speech therapy: Therapist evaluates and treats children who present with or are at risk for communication delays. They address oral structure/function and respiratory patterns that impact future speech development.  

Lactation consultant: Has special training to help women breastfeed.