NICU Standard 4: Signage and Art

Signage and art at the entrance and throughout the NICU shall reflect the diversity of the community served and shall convey to families that they are welcomed and supported as essential to the care of their infants. This information shall be provided to families immediately after entering the NICU in languages and/or symbols understandable to the diversity of communities served.

Interpretation: Signage and art at the entrance to the NICU create powerful first impressions. They reinforce the importance of families to care, care planning, and decision-making for their infants. Families should not be labeled as “visitors” and hence inconsequential to care and outcomes.

Signage should convey that parents define their family and how they wish for them to be involved in care. Parents should determine who can best support them through their NICU journey.

Signage should consistently reflect actual policy and practice and encourage family participation in care, care-planning, decision-making, and key care processes such as rounds and nurse change of shift report.

Temporary signage, such as cold and flu season signs, should also use the language of partnership and not power – “During cold and flu season we will work together with families to keep babies safe.”

Signage and art at the entrance and throughout the NICU facilitate ongoing connections with communities when they are familiar to the diversity of families served. They promote hope and confidence when messages and art feature families caring for their premature infants.

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