anybody read a book called "Baby ER"?

  1. Hi, I am hoping to enter nursing school in the fall. I have been reading a book called "BABY ER : The Heroic Doctors and Nurses Who Perform Medicine's Tiniest Miracles" by Edward Humes (Author). It is fascinating and makes me want to work in the NICU. I realize that I may feel differently once given the opportunity during school, but it is one area that I am eagerly anticipating. I was wondering if any of you who actually work in the NICU have had a chance to read this book and if so, what your thoughts are on it. Do you think it portrays an accurate picture? Thanks in advance for your opinions.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Mimi2RN
    I thought it was very well written. Isn't that the one by a guy whose baby was in a NICU? I believe it's an accurate portrayal.

    I work in a level II, not level III. Anything really bad-cardiac kids, micropremies, surgical cases, take a ride to the local level III. I still like to read about my job, and theirs!
    Last edit by Mimi2RN on Mar 5, '04
  4. by   Gompers
    I also liked that book, and thought it was pretty realistic. Yes, I do believe it was written by a man whose baby was in the NICU. It really is like an ER, he hit the nail on the head. Babies are often transferred to NICU when they are just minutes old, and we take it from there. We even do surgery on the unit. Things can be quiet one minute and then all heck breaks loose the next. I have been in many situations where I felt like I was on an episode of ER, I can tell you that much! It's a wonderful mix, if you ask me. One day you can be feeding and bathing 3 or 4 feeder-grower preemies...and the next you might be doing chest compressions and IV pushing life-saving drugs.

    You'll probably do a day or two in the NICU during your OB or Peds clinicals. See how you like it!

    Good luck in school!
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    I read it. It was a great book. I don't work in a NICU though but think those who do are HEROIC.

    Hiya Mimi . . . .

    steph
  6. by   dawngloves
    I read it ages ago so I don't remember much. Except how the teen mother's acted. Some, not all, are just so clueless. They come in a week after they deliver their 28 weeker and think it's just like regular baby and we don't know what we're doing.If one of them commented they wish they could have that tube in the babies throat at home so it wouldn't cry, I wouldn't be surprised in the least.
  7. by   Jolie
    I enjoyed it very much, and appreciated that the author did not gloss over the complications that preemies face. Of the 5 or 6 babies that were followed, only about half survived, giving readers a realistic view of NICU outcomes.
  8. by   nursepearl
    I have read it and its one of my favorite!

    dawngloves, I think what you said about teens mothers is very inappropriate. I was a teenage mother and I know there are many others here who were also. I took great offense in what you said.....teen mothers are not bad mothers....there are MANY women who are bad mothers and who are just as "clueless"!
    I think many middle aged women would be suprised to know that I, a teen mom, was teaching them how to take care of their newborn (which i was able to do thru nursing school).
    Pearl

    Ps. I know you tried to cover your butt by saying "some not all" but it was still VERY offensive.
  9. by   Gompers
    Quote from nursepearl
    dawngloves, I think what you said about teens mothers is very inappropriate. I was a teenage mother and I know there are many others here who were also. I took great offense in what you said.....teen mothers are not bad mothers....there are MANY women who are bad mothers and who are just as "clueless"!
    I'm not dawngloves, but I understand where she's coming from. I think having a normal newborn baby as a teen is a little different than having one sick in the NICU. It's a different kind of stress, and I agree that 3 out of 4 teen moms I see are very immature about their sick newborns. I think it's just a lot to deal with, being a teen mom, without having to throw in the added stress of the baby being critically ill. Many teenagers aren't ready for this kind of extreme emotional stress, and they handle it a little differently than older mothers. Honestly, most adults aren't ready for that kind of stress! Yes, mothers of ANY age can be immature or clueless, that is for darn sure! But most NICU nurses deal with teen moms on a regular basis, and it's often just a different ball game. Their babies will be at 100% oxygen on the oscillator and 20mcg of dop/dob, and they're upset because we won't dress the babies in doll clothes they brought. This and similar things have happened to me more times than I care to remember! I think the biggest difference between having a normal newborn and a NICU baby is that you don't have to start taking care of the sick baby right away. A normal baby is that teen mom's responsibility from day one, and she must quickly become responsible and adapt to her new role as a mother. But in the NICU, they might only be able to visit the baby in for an hour or two a day, and they sometimes treat it like playtime. They are able to go back to school, back to their normal lives. They don't have to DO anything with this baby yet. It's not REAL yet. It's very different than having that baby with them 24/7 from the get-go.

    Yes, this might be true of parents at ANY age. But if you spend any time in the NICU, you'll see major differences in the way a teen parent and an older one deals with the situation. It's just too much stress to deal with before adulthood, and just way too much information to handle at times. I wouldn't wish a NICU baby on anyone, least of all a teenager. It's hard enough on an adult.

    Please don't flame me, I'm only going on my experience and that of my coworkers.
    Last edit by Gompers on Mar 9, '04
  10. by   cswain12000
    I have also read that book, and feel that it portrays a very realistic view of life in NICU. Has anybody here ever read the book "Big George: Autobiography of an Angel" by James Jennings? that is my favorite all time book. It is based on a true story, and written from the baby's viewpoint. Reading it really makes you stop and think about how things we do may feel to the baby, and also made very real to me the spirit inside of those little bodies.
  11. by   dawngloves
    Yes Gompers that is exactly what I meant.Sorry you had to clarify it for me.I didn't think it would be necessary here.
  12. by   Gompers
    Quote from dawngloves
    Yes Gompers that is exactly what I meant.Sorry you had to clarify it for me.I didn't think it would be necessary here.
    I understand.

    ****************************************

    Another great book from a baby's viewpoint is "Saul" by Rosemary Kay. It's about a 23-weeker in Europe who had an extremely hard NICU course. This child's mother is the author, and she did an amazing job of giving him a voice and personality. It's very eye-opening for a NICU nurse to read a book from a baby's point of view. It makes you think twice about everything you're doing to these babies and how they must feel about it all. Just an absolutely wonderful book, I really reccommend it. Cried my eyes out.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books
  13. by   oneLoneNurse
    My nephew was born at 24 weeks at 1 lb 4oz. Three weeks later my mom tells me he has an infection and that he has blood in his stool. What does this mean?

    I am not sure. He is in Toronto at either Mt Sinai or St Micheals. I am in Phili.

    Thoughts?
  14. by   HealthShepherd
    Hello Onelonenurse, and I'm sorry to hear about your nephew's troubles.

    St. Michael's has a level II nursery, and Mt. Sinai is one of the city's 3 level III NICUs. So, he may have been born at St. Mike's (if his mom was too far along in labour to transfer), but if so, he would have been transferred immediately after birth because he's so premature. Mt. Sinai tends to get the smallest premies - but if he needs bowel surgery, he'll be transferred to Sick Kids, which is right across the street from Mt. Sinai.

    As for the blood in his stool, that's a classic sign of NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis) - an intestinal problem which is most common in young premies. They probably have him NPO and on antibiotics, and are watching his abdominal X-rays and to see if his girth is increasing. If he does have NEC, sometimes the conservative management (NPO and antibiotics) is enough to give the bowel a chance to heal, and sometimes part of the intestine is necrotic and must be removed surgically.

    I hope this helps. FWIW, I'm a new grad nurse, just starting in a level II in Toronto (not in one of the hospitals you mentioned).

    Marion

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