interviewing neonatologist...questions to ask? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-28-2008, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i am currently serving on the Parent Advisory Council at our nicu and i have been asked to help interview a neonatologist they are considering to hire. what questions should i ask? i already have couple in mind but would like some more input.

married to my sweetheart 12yrs, semi-crunchy mommy to three very attached girls (dd1-3/30/05, dd2 born at 28wks-9/20/07), and dd3 born at home-8/3/10)
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#2 of 11 Old 05-28-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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I'd ask about his/her views on breastfeeding (not just breastMILKfeeding - but actually nursing) preemies, kangaroo care, and co-bedding multiples. Those were the hottest topics of debate in our NICU stay.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#3 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by OGirlieMama View Post
I'd ask about his/her views on breastfeeding (not just breastMILKfeeding - but actually nursing) preemies, kangaroo care, and co-bedding multiples. Those were the hottest topics of debate in our NICU stay.
:

I'd also want to talk about his/her thoughts on communicating with parents. Does he/she believe that the nurses should do all of the talking, or should regular meetings with parents be routine?

What sort of going home strategy does he/she have? Should there be a "rooming in" period first (that's what I would prefer), or it is okay to just send the babe home (which was the policy at our hospital, but our neo saw that I was very uncertain so he shipped us up to peds. for a few days to "room in" with DS).

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer"
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#4 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by OGirlieMama View Post
I'd ask about his/her views on breastfeeding (not just breastMILKfeeding - but actually nursing) preemies, kangaroo care, and co-bedding multiples. Those were the hottest topics of debate in our NICU stay.
To this I would add preemie massage and Reiki energy work (there are NICUs out there that do this). Question closely and don't take basic lipservice to KCare and Breastfeeding. Find out if they are really up on latest research. Ask about how they would handle ongoing efforts to reduce the noise/light levels per most current research and trends.
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#5 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 01:56 AM
 
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I would definitely ask how they intend to reduce light/noise. We were in the nicu for 11 days and it was so busy (a learning hospital) it made me exhausted. So many people came in/out, machines were beeping all over this baby and staff was talking across the room.

I just knew this was exhausting the other babies that were trying to get well.
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#6 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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I would also want to know what type of research the attending has particpated in. When was it done?

How approachable would this Dr be to families? When we did our nicu stay, we wanted to talk to the Dr when something was changed. How would this person feel about this? Would they be comfortable spending time with parents who have heads that are spinning?

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#7 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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I would look at some fairly serious preemie diagnoses (IVH, NEC, etc) and role play telling the family the news. I would want to see what his or her bedside manner is like.
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#8 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
I would look at some fairly serious preemie diagnoses (IVH, NEC, etc) and role play telling the family the news. I would want to see what his or her bedside manner is like.

ooooh good one. We had one neo I called the "Evil Dr. Wong" (cue funky karate movie music for the villian).
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#9 of 11 Old 05-29-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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Very good idea. When our DD was in the NICU and her chromosome analysis came back our very cold neo told us they found the problem, didn't know what it meant or if she would live and then proceeded to put our 2 year old in time out. People skills are a MUST.
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#10 of 11 Old 05-30-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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I would look at some fairly serious preemie diagnoses (IVH, NEC, etc) and role play telling the family the news. I would want to see what his or her bedside manner is like.
What a FANTASTIC idea! Role playing is a wonderful way to really see what he/she is all about.

OP: In additon to the questions about specific techniques and perspectives, perhaps you could ask more general questions like:
  • What are the three biggest challenges neonatal medicine faces today? How do you meet those challenges?
  • Give me an example of a "successful" NICU. What made it successful?
  • What is the role of the parent in a NICU?

And of course, always give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer"
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#11 of 11 Old 06-05-2008, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow! thanks for all the great ideas. i actually did the interview last friday, but will probably have an opportunity to do another one this month. it was pretty casual. the neo (youngish woman just finishing her residency) is from a huge nicu in texas. they are doing a study on human milk fortifier which the preliminary results are showing that the growth is not as fast as the regular at this point. it was very interesting to talk to her about it.

married to my sweetheart 12yrs, semi-crunchy mommy to three very attached girls (dd1-3/30/05, dd2 born at 28wks-9/20/07), and dd3 born at home-8/3/10)
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