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      A neonatal intensive care team

      The calm, lightly dimmed atmosphere at Munson Medical Center's neonatal intensive care unit says it all.

      The calm, lightly dimmed atmosphere at Munson Medical Center's neonatal intensive care unit says it all. The specialized staff on hand is there to provide these premature infants with the most sensitive type of care.

      "We're board certified and master prepared. We are trained in neonatal or infants. We are specialized in the care of pre-term and term infants. We come with a unique set of skills," says nurse practitioner Amber Wisniewski.

      These skills are what the four neonatal nurse practitioners along with two neonatologists provide when it comes to the life support of the NICU patients.

      The team was created within the past two years because of a growing need for resources with the high volume of neonatal care that Munson sees.

      "The four of us were brought on to provide 24/7 in house coverage specialized care for the unit. The physicians are here and they are our back-up as well," says Wisniewski.

      In the past, two neonatal physicians were on staff with RN support, but with several northern Michigan hospitals closing their OB/maternity units and the fact that Munson is the only NICU north of Grand Rapids, the unit has become a major resource.

      "When babies are born prematurely they have various issues that need to be dealt with from a team that's familiar with the problems that they're going to face. There are several challenges that these babies are born early come in contact with. With the knowledge that we have, we can help these infants to overcome those challenges to get discharged safely home," says nurse practitioner Kim McCullen.

      Wisniewski and McCullen are two of the four neonatal nurse practitioners. For them it's about team work to make sure each infant is treated with individual care.

      "We are committed to the care of these babies as well as the members of our community," says McCullen.

      "We do daily rounds and involve all disciplines in the care of the babies from pharmacist to repository therapist to the nursing staff. We are the ones trying to develop the plan of care for each infant and individualize to their specific needs," says Wisniewski. It's a true commitment with a personal approach...

      "The job is a incredibly rewarding position. Having a baby prematurely is very emotional and being able to be involved and provide emotional support as well as help educate them through the process is incredibly rewarding," says Wisniewski.

      For information about an event coming up August 18th, called Lauren & Theresa's Run which raises money for Munson's NICU click here.