Im considering becoming a neonatal nurse but i want more insight to what is it like working in the NICU
Is it a really depressing area to work in?
What was your expierience like?
Were you scared at first of handling such small babies?
Are you constintly checking on the babies, do you get any down time?
Any additional comments welcomed
Jun 14, '12
I work in Pediatrics but we frequently float to NICU. I like going there. I don't take care of the really critical babies. I usually have the babies that are just getting bigger before they go home. I don't think it is depressing. I think its a real miracle that they can save such tiny babies. I was scared a little at first, because they are so tiny. However, I love taking care of them. Most of them are so cute. All the babies are hooked to monitors, and they aren't supposed to be messed constantly. We try to decrease their stimulation. So, yes there is down time. I know the critical babies tend to be a little more work. I like the NICU babies, because they sleep most of the time. When we get babies on the peds floor, the babies don't usually go by any type of schedule. There is one thing I do not like about NICU is that the babies tend to have crazy moms. A lot of the babies have moms with substance abuse history or other issues.
Jun 14, '12
It's like any other field -- it depends on the particular facility. A lot of NICU's don't have the sickest babies and may not see a lot of death and permanent disability. Other NICU's are the big referral centers that other NICU's send their worst cases to. Some of those NICU's can be as intense and stressful as any major ICU / trauma unit. Some NICU's are well-staffed and others are grossly understaffed. etc. etc. etc.
Your best bet is to spend a little time in any unit before you committ to working there. Find out it's typical patient population, staffing patterns, resources, etc. There is a wide range of possbilities out there.