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  Sanford Health Walk-in Clinic
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  Sanford Health Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Related services

Sanford Health has a Level 3B NICU which means we care for infants less than 28 weeks (seven months) gestation and less than 1000 grams (three pounds).

Guidelines for parents in the NICU

At Sanford Birth Center, we feel it is important for you to be able to spend time with your high risk infant. However, because this is an intensive care environment, we have established the following guidelines.
  • Parents are welcome in the NICU 24 hours a day.
  • The doors to the NICU are locked for the protection of the babies. Please ring the doorbell for admittance.
  • When you enter the NICU, you will be asked to remove all jewelry from your hands and scrub with an antiseptic soap for three minutes. Do not use the betadine scrub if you are allergic to iodine.
  • Parents must accompany all other visitors into the NICU. Only two people (one parent and one visitor) are allowed at the bedside. Grandparents may visit the NICU without the parents if this is acceptable to the parents. Parents will be asked to make a limited list of visitors.
  • Siblings may visit at the bedside for 15 minutes at a time, two times a day. They must be free from illness and have not been exposed to any contagious illness in the past two weeks. Illnesses to avoid are: chicken pox, measles, mumps, colds, flu, diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some vaccines such as oral polio and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shots, can be shed for five days after the vaccination is received. It is important to keep children who have received those vaccinations away from your new baby. Please notify the nursery staff if your child shows signs of illness after visiting in the NICU. Your infant should not be exposed to children other than siblings during hospitalization.
  • Information regarding a baby’s condition or care is available only to the parents of that baby. We ask that you respect this privacy and only ask the nurse questions about your own baby.
  • NICU visitation may be limited for the following reasons:
      o Change of shift report (7—7:30 a.m., 3—3:30 p.m., 7—7:30 p.m. and 11—11:30 p.m.)
      o Admission of another critically ill neonate
      o Team meetings
      o Critical change in any infant’s condition (you will be allowed to stay if this happens to your infant)
      o Procedures and X-rays
  • While you are in the NICU, we ask that you and your visitors stay by your baby’s bedside.
  • If you have signs of illness, please let your baby’s nurse know. You may need to wear a mask while visiting your baby. Visitors, other than parents, will not be allowed to visit if they exhibit signs of illness.
  • We will be glad to explain the equipment being used for your baby. If you don’t understand something, don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank you for your cooperation. We realize that this period may be a difficult time for you and your family. Our staff will strive to help you in any way we can.

Guidelines for courtesy rooms

Sanford Birth Center has designated a specific number of rooms on the floor that are available to be used as courtesy rooms for our parents who have babies in the NICU.

Priority will be given to parents:
  • With an infant in critical condition
  • Who require rooming-in with their baby before discharge
  • Who require special teaching

Social services

A social worker will be working with you to assist you with problems and/or concerns you may have. The social worker will be able to assist you with financial aid, sleeping accommodations, developmental programs and follow-up care.

Pastoral care

A member of the clergy is always available to you during your child’s hospitalization. Please contact your baby’s nurse if you would like one to visit.


Please feel free to call and ask about your baby whenever you wish. Our number is (701) 323-6580 or (800) 732-7126. Information about your baby will only be given to you.

NICU follow up clinic

Graduates of the NICU are often at risk for delays in development. The NICU follow-up clinic is designed to monitor your infant's development and to provide you, the parent, with instruction and education.

Your infant is assessed jointly by physical, occupational and speech therapists. Areas assess include gross motor skills, fine motor skills, feeding, sensory processing, pre-language skills and social/interaction skills. The parent(s) are present during the visits so it is also an opportunity for you to receive instructions and additional education related to your infant's development and risks. Learn more about our pediatric therapy services.

Referrals for the NICU clinic are made by the neonatologist or primary doctor when your infant is discharged from the NICU. The clinic coordinator arranges the follow-up appointment with the referring doctor and pediatric therapists.

The results and recommendations are discussed with the parent(s) and are provided to the referring doctor.

For more information, call (701) 323-6580.

Ronald McDonald House

Because families sometimes come from far away, an overnight stay is available at the Ronald McDonald House, 609 N. Seventh St., Bismarck. Families are asked to pay $20 per room per night if they're financially able. Payments can be made weekly or at checkout. Rooms are available on first-come, first-served basis.

Check-in is from 9 a.m.—8 p.m. and check-out is from 9 a.m.—3 p.m. To be eligible, families must:

  • Have a hospital or clinic referral
  • Have a patient who is:
    • 18 or younger
    • 19 to 22 years old if financially eligible
    • An adult having a high-risk pregnancy
  • Live more than 30 miles from Bismarck
  • Have at least one registered guest who is 18 years of age or older

To contact the Ronald McDonald House, call (701) 258-8551.


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