Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center offers state-of-the-art medical care to premature and sick term newborn infants, in a nurturing, family-centered environment. The unit is staffed by military and civilian medical professionals specially trained to care for our littlest patients. The unit is locked at all times. Visitors to the NICU should call the nurses station across from the unit door to request entry. Having an infant admitted to the NICU is normally not an expected outcome to a pregnancy and we recognize how stressful and overwhelming this experience can be.
The NICU staff is committed to provide a serene environment to promote healing and bonding. We strive to help you understand what is happening with your infant. We will assist you and your family in gaining the confidence needed to be able to care for your infant in the hospital and at home. During your baby’s stay in the NICU, a team of specially trained staff will provide quality care to your baby. We encourage you to talk to providers, ask questions, and visit as often as possible. It is important to note that hospital Chaplains frequently make rounds in the NICU and are available to meet with you. If you would like to speak with a Chaplain, please call
Upon delivery, every baby is assigned an identification band with two corresponding numbered bands. One of these bands will go to the mother and the other will go to a designated support person. Any banded person is encouraged to spend time the new baby in the NICU. We ask that you please follow these guidelines when visiting:
All visitors should be well and in good health. Due to the potential for exposing a NICU patient to illnesses, we ask that you refrain from visiting if you are sick.
- Two individuals are allowed at a time.
- Face masks are required.
- Visitors will be screened before entering the unit.
- All visitors must be at least 16 years of age.
Non-COVID 19 Visitation
Communication in the NICU
- Siblings under the age of 10 must provide a copy of immunizations record that illustrates proof of completed vaccines.
- Children under 12 will not be permitted during the influenza and RSV season that extends from October through April.
- Understanding the care your infant receives in the NICU is vitally important to reducing stress during the hospitalization. Neonatologists and NNPs are available to answer questions any time day or night.
- You may call the NICU by telephone at any time to obtain information about your infant. It is the hope of the NICU staff that you feel comfortable in asking questions or conveying any concerns you may have.
- Please remember that we can only give information about an infant’s condition to the parents. Please respect the confidentiality of others in the NICU and refrain from asking questions about or photographing others. The staff can only answer questions about patients who are currently admitted to the NICU, once you have been discharged please refer to the advice nurse assigned to your clinic for questions or concerns.
- Please limit cell phone conversations while in the NICU. You may take pictures, only at your baby’s bedside. Video calls are allowed at your baby’s bedside with the curtains closed for privacy.
- Everyone entering the NICU must wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water prior to entry into the NICU. See posted guidelines on proper hand-washing technique.
- Newly admitted NICU patients do not tolerate loud noises or stimulation. We ask that you respect our little ones and refrain from loud noises or stimulation such as flash photography.
- For your safety, and the safety of your baby, anyone holding your baby must do so in a sitting position in a chair without wheels (i.e. gliding chair)
- For the privacy of everyone, please do not view or visit the surrounding bedside areas of other patients and/or their families.
- No food or drinks in the NICU. Breastfeeding moms are permitted to have covered water.