New Jersey hospital uses FaceTime to connect parents with babies in NICU
A central New Jersey hospital’s pilot program is connecting parents to their babies in the NICU through FaceTime.
The program is through The Children’s Hospital at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick. It allows parents to get a real-time, live look at their children who have to stay at in the hospital.
Joseph Nardone and Sabrina Ramirez’s son Joey Jr. was born almost two months early and weighed just three pounds. He was admitted immediately into the NICU.
“Our first daughter was full-term...so this is definitely a whole different ball game,” Ramirez says.
Hospital officials have previously offered parents “NIC-View,” a live camera for the parents to watch their baby. But now the parents can talk to their baby and their baby’s doctor face-to-face thanks to the pilot program.
“We call them after the rounds with the baby and have the parents on so we can give them a very good update on what is happening for that day for the baby,’ says Dr. Shakuntala Chandra. “Sometimes if you have to show any particular things on the baby we also involve the mother or the father and this helps to give a better update on the baby.”
“It’s pretty awesome to talk to whatever doctor is there and the nurse and everything,’ says Nardone.
Doctors say that the program is especially important for parents who have other children and can’t spend all of their time at the hospital with the new baby. They say that they hope that it can help calm the nerves of these families.
“We always say, ‘Oh we love your babies as our own babies,’ but it’s still very hard for the mother who does not have involvement in the regular, daily activity of the baby,” Chandra says.
The staff is currently working on a program that will help those families that do not have iPhones or Apple devices and cannot FaceTime. They say that they hope to have that program up and running in the near future.