Phase one of the Neonatal ICU expansion at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital is complete, and intensive care patients moved into the new space in early November. As phase two renovations begin, we will no longer refer to the unit levels as NICU II and NICU III.
In the renovated NICU, our tiniest, most vulnerable patients will receive care in four areas known as “neighborhoods.” The neighborhoods will be housed in one contiguous space and named Ladybug, Dragonfly, Bumblebee and Hummingbird. While neonatal intermediate care (previously known as NICU II) and intensive care (previously known as NICU III) babies will generally be separated by neighborhood, each space is designed to meet the needs of all NICU patients — regardless of their level of care.
“One of our great joys is that the neighborhoods will be able to better accommodate babies,” said Beth Talaga, M.S.N., ARNP, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital NICU nurse manager. “We will have more flexibility to meet patients’ needs without being restrained by location.”
The neighborhoods will be comfortable, family-focused areas with whimsical nature themes in harmony with the rest of the children’s hospital. The 68-bed space will have semi-private areas as well as private rooms to help meet the education and discharge planning needs of families.
The final phase of the project — phase two — will focus on creating a large NICU waiting area featuring a sibling play space and additional seating. NICU intermediate care patients will move into the neighborhood space in spring 2017.
To learn more about this project and keep up with other renovation news, visit blueprints.UFHealth.org.