Transitional Care Center

Preparing Parents and Babies for Life at Home

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s 44-bed, Level III Transitional Care Center was the first of its kind in the nation. For over a decade, it has served as a model for transitional neonatal care for children’s hospitals around the world.

The center acts as a step-down unit. Babies go there when they are well enough to leave the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)—but are not yet ready to go home.

The Mission is Twofold:

  • First, the Transitional Care Center provides all the technology and specialized professionals needed to support babies as they continue to grow and become stronger.
  • Second, the center provides a supportive and comfortable environment where parents and caregivers can live with the new baby and learn supportive techniques and information to address any special needs once the baby is ready to go home.

Special Training and Experience for Young Families

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Level III Transitional Care Center team members are specially trained to care for both infants and parents. They have all the skills and experience required for the baby’s medical needs. They also take an active part in helping the parents get ready to leave the hospital – providing training, education and support to equip them for the days ahead.

  • The center becomes the family’s home away from home—where they participate in the baby’s care, hands-on as they gain the skills and confidence needed to continue that care at home.
  • In addition to bedside learning, parents have access to formal training on a variety of topics, including CPR, feeding, medication, oxygen therapy and ventilator care.
  • Hours invested at the center pay many dividends later. The parents gain confidence, their anxiety is reduced and the baby has a greater chance for continued progress, thanks to the preparation families receive at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

The center is joined to the neonatal intensive care unit by way of the PNC (National City) Bridge. Located on the fourth floor of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Horvitz Tower, architects designed the bridge with rainbow-colored glass panels, unique art niches and fiber-optic lighting that simulates the night sky. The goal was to encourage a quiet and calm atmosphere for patients and families.

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