Early Childhood Education Careers

Neonatologist

What is a Neonatologist?

A neonatologist is a person who studies neonatology. Neonatology is a subspecialy of pediatrics that consists of the medical care of newborn infants, especially the ill or premature newborn infant. It is a hospital based career and is usually practice in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). Neonatologists are not among the top paid physicians. The average salary of neonatologists is around $200,000 but some have reported a salary upwards of $320,000-$480,000.

How do you know you need a Neonatologist?

For Premature Babies:

  • Underdeveloped lungs which require the baby to need extra oxygen or breathing assistance
  • Underdeveloped liver that may result in jaundice or in severe cases, brain damage
  • Underdeveloped digestive systems that cannot handle breast milk or formula which may result in nutrition being administered by IV
For Full Term Babies:

  • Perinatal asphyxia - a lack of oxygen during birth that leads to other more complex problems
  • Unexpected birth defects
  • Heredity or genetic disorders
  • Injuries that happen during the process or as a newborn

Roles & Responsibilities

A neonatologist can be brought into a care situation before or after a birth.

Before birth:

  • Neonatologist advises the parents what to expect during and after labor and delivery, and coordinate care with other physicians and health care professionals
  • In very high-risk situations, the expectant mother might be admitted to the hospital. This allows neonatologists to monitor the condition of both the mother, and extend the pregnancy for as long as possible
After birth:

  • In the NICU, neonatologists can keep at-risk infants warm and provide support as long as their lungs, organs, and immune systems continue developing.
  • Finding a suitable method for treating each infant is a significant part of the neonatologists work
  • Appropriate and successful care for these infants reduces the risk and severity of ongoing, long-term health conditions as the children grow.

Education & Training

Minimum college degree a neonatologist can have is a doctoral degree with special training in pediatrics and neonatology. After completing the three-year residency required for all pediatricians. neonatologists go on to three more years in a neonatal fellowship, learning to care for distressed infants under the supervision of an experiences practitioner

Characteristics & Skills

Important skills for a neonatologist include leadership, the ability to work in a high pressure, stressful environment, and knowledge of all medical specialties, not just neonatology. Other important skills and qualities are empathy, manual dexterity, enthusiasm for the work and endurance. Listening is also an important skill. One must giver her full attention to the conversation. not interrupt and take the time one needs to be sure one understands the important points. You have to be able to interact with medical colleagues such as obstetricians, nurses, hospital staff and parents on a daily basis. Collegiality is an important issue in this field. Mutual commitment and cooperation improve working conditions for all members of the professional group and promote good communication. A neonatologist who cannot communicate with other members of the medical team is unlikely to be successful.

3 Entry Level Jobs

Entrepreneurial Possibilities

If you wanted the opportunity to start your own neonatology "business," you would have to open a private practice.

Abilities, Skills, and Interests. Does it match?

Based on my skills and interests, this job fits perfectly. I have the want to take care of people especially children and after college, I plan to be a pediatric surgeon.

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