Neonatal Nurses...what do they do?
- 0Jan 16, '08 by neonatalintrest88I'm interested in becoming a neonatal nurse, but really have no clue what they do. Would i have to go through all of the washing older ppl and what not? I'm just really looking to see what all it entails. thanks to anyone that can help!
- 1Jan 16, '08 by NotReady4PrimeTime, RN Senior ModeratorYes, you will have to go through the looking-after-grown-ups part to get to the baby part. Nursing education in North America always starts as a general covers-it-all program that narrows to a specialty at the end. It's actually a good system because you continually build on what you're learning and once you understand things like anatomy and physiology of the healthy adult, it's much easier to make the leap to sick babies. Sounds wrong but it's really not.
Neonatal nurses have highly specialized information needs. Sick neonates don't behave like you think they should and they don't usually give any warning that they're going to crump. Nursing care includes many of the same processes as for adults, but the assessment part of it is very complex. And there's the added factor of developmental care. Sick newborns need special handling so that they develop like they would have had they been born at term or not sick. It's a highly complex type of nursing that requires a huge knowledge base.
- 0Jan 16, '08 by NotReady4PrimeTime, RN Senior ModeratorSure you can. Giving them is NOT the same as getting them. In neonatal (after graduation and when you're working) you might be required to give your babies Vitamin K shots, immunizations and perhaps anticoagulants if you work in a unit with post-operative cardiac patients. You'll also be expected in many NICUs to start IVs on your babies if they need them. The needles are usually really small and thin and the babies cry for a minute but a bit of sweetened water on a soother helps to get them over it. You'll learn safe handling of sharps (as we call needles, scapels, guidewires, stitch cutters, glass ampoules and other "sharp" things) in your training.
- 0Jan 17, '08 by nursemikeQuote from neonatalintrest88As I sometimes tell my adult patients, "Unless something goes terribly wrong, this will hurt you more than me."Thank you very much. I just really wanted to know so that i could be prepared. Another quick question...is there any way i can be a nurse if I myself am scared of needles? I don't quite know what it is that makes me so afraid. Thanks!