Aiight, peeps, I'll tell you my stupid story so that none of you EVER have to feel stupid again just because you're new. 'Kay?
I was hired in the NICU and was terrified. I don't have kids, have rarely held babies; in fact, I only knew one person with an infant in my entire life, and he was six months old when I met him and started helping her care for him as a sort-of live-in nanny (long story, not for this post...
Get the picture? No babies. No experience. Zip. Nada.
My very first day out of classroom orientation, my preceptor says, Kristina, that baby needs a diaper change, bath, and change of linen because the diaper came undone.
I look over at this baby, who is in an Isolette (incubator). Looks innocent enough. Biiiiiiig baby, barely fits in the Isolette. Nice ten pounder recovering from respiratory distress at birth. Looks at me. I think he smiled.
I'm like, okay, nooooo problemo, senorita. I've got this under control. Dying babies, no. Diaper changes and changing sheets, no big dilly-o.
I gather my supplies and go to the Isolette. The baby looks up innocently at me.
I realize the baby is covered almost head to toe in disgusting green liquid stool. It's in his hair. He's grabbing at it with his hands. It's all over his legs, socks, EKG leads, pulse ox, everything. The sheets are ruined.
The theme to Damien: The OMEN starts up in the background. Honest. Hoh-hoh-hoh-hoh! Hoh-hoh-hoh-hoh! Hoh-hoh-hoh-hooooo-hoooo-ho-hoh! (higher pitched) Hoh-hoh-hoh-HOH! Hoh-HOH-hoh-HOH! The baby's eyes turn red like the devil's. He starts to cry and his tongue is forked, I swear to you.
I'm like, crap, how am I going to do this? My preceptor is watching me from the corner. I crack my knuckles and begin to sweat. I mean, SWEAT. It's freaking HOT in the nursery, and I am looking like one of the Campbell's Soup kids- you know, the one who's been smoking crack all day? My cheeks are flaming, I'm feeling pressured, she's watching me, the baby's chanting incantations in Latin.
I reach into the Isolette. I struggle for 20 minutes to clean this mess up. I bathe the baby. I change the diaper. I undo all of the old linen, and replace it with new linen.
Did you knooooow....
Isolette doors open up and swing down?
In retrospect, I should have asked myself one question. It would have made the whole process much easier.
"HOW DID THEY GET THE BABY IN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?"
That's right, folks. I did ALL of that with my arms stuck through the portholes of the incubator. I pulled the old stuff out and put the new stuff in through the holes. I lifted the baby and held him aloft through the holes. I turned and flipped him through the holes.
It never once occurred to me to open the freaking door.
Nice preceptor, huh? Think she could have mentioned that BEFORE I worked for 20 minutes?
And yet, despite the absolute horror and humiliation of that experience, I am a very bright and capable person. And so are you. I am an excellent nurse. And so will you be.
So come on, people, let's hear those stories. I assure you, none are as stupid as mine. If you think THAT one's bad, I'm saving the rest for margarita night.