MOD family specialist


Do any of you work in a NICU with a March Of Dimes family support specialist? Is that person an RN? Are they part time or full time? Could you share a bit about what they do?

I am curious as they seem to have a variety of roles in different hospitals. Their work seems valuable yet there is only one in my entire state.

Do you know if the hospital pays their salary, or MOD?

I would love to see more family education and support in our NICU! Any info is appreciated! (and yes, I'm in touch with my local MOD... they have very little info about this at this time but have told me they'll look into it) thanks!


188 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 11 years experience.

We have a MoD Family Support program in our NICU, and one of our RNs is the Family Support Specialist. She works part time in our unit as a staff nurse (16 hrs/week) and then has four hours per week for her MoD position. She is paid by the hospital.

I am in nursing school now but did an internship with the MOD NICU Family Support Specialist from January through April of this year for my previous degree. She was paid by the MOD and it was a part time position. I was in the hospital with her 3 days a week for about 4 hours each day. I think she was usually there one more day a week besides those 3 days. We also had activities on one or two Saturdays a month. I do know that, at least for her, she made her own hours and could pretty much run the program however she wanted based on the needs of the families in that particular unit. She is the only NICU FSS in my state, but a huge fundraiser by one of the high schools in the area was going to fund the starting process of getting another FSS at a different hospital in the state. I'm on my phone so I can't see what specific questions you asked about, but any questions you have I don't mind answering! Just ask on here or send me a PM. Like I said though, I think every program can be ran differently but I can explain the different activities we did once I can respond on my computer where its a little easier.

Oh and she is not an RN or any type of health care professional. I have only been in that particular hospital's NICU and have never had a child in the NICU, but I honestly think the support she gave to the parents was invaluable. It was an amazing opportunity to be involved with the program.


22 Posts

My NICU has a MOD family support council. It was a big deal to do this "officially". Our council is lead by one of our unit's social workers. The council is primarily made up of NICU grad parents. It is their point of view that is vital to the success of how we can provide support appropriately. I am the only NICU nurse on the committee. There is one other nurse-an ob nurse (she always takes care of inpatient high-risk antenatal moms). We did a bunch of surveys to identify needs for the families. MOD then has "modules" based on those needs. We developed a plan on how to meet the needs using the chosen modules and adapting them to our unit. The follow through of activities is mostly by volunteers (again, NICU grad parents that want to give back). I do get paid time for when the committee meets. I also spend 2-4 hours a week doing NICU education for the inpatient high-risk antenatal mothers (part of an identified need through surveys, and also part of one of the modules). The social worker that heads this committee incorporates the work into her role/hours already at work. We have a calendar (made by her and marketing) that lists all the various things parents can get involved in- that is lead by trained volunteers.

Our local MOD doesn't set foot into the hospital, but rather is a contact person for our social worker that leads the committee. I have heard of other local MODs being VERY involved and supportive. I think this widely varies, depending on your local chapter.