Bayhealth celebrates Neonatal Nurses Day Sept. 15


6Staff Report

Taking care of sick babies in the Special Care Nursery at Bayhealth Kent General isn’t always easy but it’s a calling for our nurses. Bayhealth is proud to celebrate the work of our neonatal nurses on Sept. 15 for Neonatal Nurses Day.

Bayhealth Kent General is a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for infants needing more intensive, specialized cared. Our specialty trained neonatology team provides expert care to premature and very sick newborns in our 22-bed NICU nursery. We provide care for newborn infants with a variety of problems including prematurity, birth defects, infection, and more. Our specialties include total nutrition tube feeding, phototherapy, thermoregulation, ventilator care, intravenous therapy, developmental care, and support for families through family-centered care. We also offer a Ronald McDonald room for families with infants in the NICU to allow families to room-in with their infant prior to discharge or to provide a place for families to stay close by.

Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Sarah Knavel, RN, MSN, APRN, PCNS-BC, said the NICU has a lot to offer to families including a cuddler program where volunteers help hold babies, a specialized breastfeeding peer counselor and the NICU Support Group.

“I think it takes a lot of heart to work in a NICU,” Knavel said. “We have a great team of nurses, physicians and nurse practitioners. They are amazing people who show compassion to the families. No matter what the circumstances are, they go out of their way to help the family.”

Fellow nurse Debbie Hawkins, RNC-LRN, BSN, has been a NICU nurse for 20 years. She believes the NICU fills a need in the community. “We’re here so the babies can stay here with their families. We provide a service to the families in this area,” Hawkins said.

For more information on the NICU or the NICU Support Group, go to