I'm a final year nursing student about to go on my second last clinical (ever!) I'm going to a major neonatal intensive care, which is a tertiary referal centre and surgical centre. I'm super excited!
BUT I don't know anything about newborns or preterm bubs. We've barely covered more than a brief 'this is how you swaddle a baby' in second year. I have paeds experience but this is a whole other world... Everything about these babies is different and I don't even know the normal ranges for neonatal vital signs!! I've checked some texts out of the library at uni but was hoping some of the NICU veterans here could give me (and other students heading in NICUs) some advice.
These are some of the questions that have been worrying me:
What should I know before the first day?
What should I keep written down in my pockets to refer to?
What sorts of things should I be asking the RNs?
What could I expect to do and see?
What should I be reading up on?
What are normal vital signs for these babies?
What sorts of problems might the babies have?
What is different between NICU and adult ICU that I should be aware of?
What do tou think I can do to get the most out of this experience?
Thank you so much for any advice you might have. So many of the threads here have been really helpful to read
Do you have a faculty advisor? If not, I'd start w/Merenstein and Gardner (avail on Amazon
) and NeoFax. Wash your hands a LOT. Hold babies whenever you can. Good Luck!!
Definitely bring a calculator. You will be calculating every dose you give. There are not as many different meds as in adult medicine. You will see a LOT of Ampicillin and either Cef or Gent.
Babies do not have a lot of ways to tell you something's not right--it's very subtle.
Last edit by prmenrs on Aug 12, '11