Jeffrey’s arrival was a milestone for Joyce Carrion. He was her very first grandchild, the first child of her daughter, Alison, and husband, Eric Hornecker. She couldn’t wait to see him, carry him, cuddle with him, and talk to him. And she got to do all of this when he came home to South River from the hospital for two days before having to be rushed back with a medical problem that required surgery and an admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. She was thankful that Saint Peter’s was the only hospital in Central Jersey that still made it possible for her to see her grandson morning, noon, and night, even if she couldn’t touch him those first few days following surgery.
Mrs. Carrion was able to see her grandson thanks to NICVIEW , a small camera placed at the infant’s bassinet that is equipped with technology that broadcasts real-time video 24-hours- a-day through a secure online portal. Parents can view their child from any computer or mobile device, phones included. This goes for extended family members, too; only those who are given a password by parents can access the system. A mobile app is not required. “The camera was a God- send,” Mrs. Carrion said while visiting Jeffrey in the NICU at Saint Peter’s, days before he was released. “I would look in on him when I got up in the morning, every chance I got during the day, and right before I went to bed every night.”
Needless to say being able to see their son was a comfort for mom and dad too. They spent almost every waking moment at the hospital with Jeffrey, but when they ouldn’t, they checked in on him on their tablet. “The camera gave us peace of mind,” says Alison. So when dad returned to work after a few weeks of being off, he watched his son proudly on NICvIEw too.
The arrival of a new baby is an amazing time for a family. For some whose babies need to be admitted to the NICU, those first days, or weeks, can be difficult.
The Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital is part of New Jersey’s first state-designated Regional Perinatal Center. The NICU, licensed for 54 bassinets, provides the most comprehensive neonatal care in the state for newborns and infants with medical or surgical problems. The NICU is staffed 24-hours-a-day by board certified neonatologists, nurse practitioners, a physician assistant, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, a neonatal-trained pharmacist, and a social worker. Also available on call 24-hours-a-day are specialists in multiple pediatric specialties.
Recognizing the importance of nurturing the special bond between a family and their infant, Saint Peter’s has equipped all the bassinets in its NICU with a NICvIEwcamera, becoming the first regional perinatal center to do so in Central Jersey. The project was made possible thanks to a generous $100,000 donation by The Provident Bank Foundation.
“It was not a difficult decision,” says Karen McMullen, The Provident Bank Foundation board member who suggested the donation be made following her first visit to the NICU. “By giving parents and families the ability to see their child when they couldn’t be with them, we knew we had done something to help during this emotional time.”
For information about Saint Peter’s NICU services, including NICVIEW, please call Ann Marie Tvedt, nurse manager, at 732-745-8600, ext. 8448. To make a donation to the NICU or the NICVIEW project, call 732-745-8542
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