How long have you been in the NICU???

  1. I was just wondering how long you guys have been in the NICU. Do you plan on staying in the NICU throughout your nursing career or do you have different plans? I have been out of the NICU for the last two and a half years, but will be returning in 10 days

    I realized while I was away that my true passion is in the NICU. I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder.

    Anyway, I was just kind of curious how long everyone has been in the NICU and if anyone has ever left temporarily.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Candace
    I've been in for the last 12yrs and probably add another 12. I will be tapping the Isolettes with my cane when a kid starts bradying!
    I have been in OB-all areas since 1977. Only time off for good behavior with my 2 children-(and yes, I took the whole 12wks allowed each-THAT was my va-K!)
  4. by   nurseiam
    I've been in the NICU for 4 years. I love it! But I would like to travel when my kids are grown(I've got a ways to go) so I would like to be more rounded. I'm going back to school next year to get my BSN then I'm thinking PICU?Childrens ER. My ultimate goal it to be on our transport team but someone has to die to get a spot and with 200 nurses I'm only half way up the senority pole!
  5. by   NicuGal
    16.5 years here, 13.5 left to go LOL
  6. by   EXOTIC NURSE
    Ive only been in the NICU for 2 months now.........lol.......but I really love it.........I will stay in the NICU for a while at least until I get my MSN/MBA then I will go into something else....I love the lil babies......and I enjoy this area. I am a new grad RN so I am green but I have been a LPN for seven years.....
  7. by   LauraF, RN
    I am an LPN who is currently on child duty and going to school online. I had always wanted to be a NICU nurse until I had a preemie. She was 24weeker and 1lb. I just don't know if I could do it again. I was also disgusted with alot of the parents who did not show up to see their babies. I know not everyone can be there everyday like I was, but geesh, weekends or something.
  8. by   NICU_Nurse
    I agree that parents who don't visit can break your heart. I've never quite been able to put myself in the shoes of a mother who can carry a baby, even to only half-term, and then just walk away, but I know that there are other factors at play that I simply don't understand and never will be able to. I suppose that's where my faith comes in- faith that if I try my hardest to provide the opportunity for life, someone out there (or up there!) will try their hardest to fulfill it. Unfortunately, we have no control over the babies after they leave the unit, and this has been one of the hardest parts of being an NICU nurse. I suppose it's one of the hardest parts of being any type of nurse, though- no matter how old your patient is, you can't control what happens to them or what they do to themselves outside of the unit. Tiny rainbows become more important. ;>)
  9. by   prmenrs
    Many, many times, they are afraid to become 'too attached' in case the baby dies. Many times, there is no transportation. Sometimes, friends/family who could provide transportation, won't because THEY are afraid Mom will become 'too attached' and the baby might die.. Sometimes, there are 2, 3, 4 other kids in the house to be cared for, and no one to watch them. Maybe their husband is working 2 jobs, and she can't go in (is not allowed to) (is afraid to) alone.

    It has been known to happen that they're in jail. They might be doing drugs. They might NOT care.

    But usually, they care very much, and there is some impediment that they are unable to discuss w/us preventing them from visiting.

    So, when they are there, make sure they get to hold, feed, change. Take pictures for them to take home. In other words, do the best you can to facilitate bonding. Encourage phone calls between visits, and make status reports as personal as possible. Ask them to bring stuff in for the baby, so the baby can get to know their smell.

    I do remember one mom who was incarcerated, pumped milk q3h, and somehow made the sheriffs freeze it and bring it in to us whenever they came to the hospital! I always thought she deserved some sort of medal for perseverance!
  10. by   prmenrs
    I forgot the original question!!

    I retired in July after 34 years in hospital nsg, 22 in NICU.
  11. by   Anaclaire
    Prmenrs, You are so absolutely right about how important we nurses are at assisting the parents in bonding with their babies!!! The first few days and weeks are incredibly important, for if they don't bond well, the chances increase that they won't take good care of their baby after discharge. I personally think good bonding should be more of a priority and hopefully one day it will.

    To answer the original question of the thread, I've been a nurse since 1991 with 7 years on a Mother-Baby Unit and 3 in a Level III NICU including Transport Team. I stopped working after marrying but am hoping to return to a NICU assignment later this year. Crossing my fingers!!! There is no where else I'd rather work than the NICU... a Well-Baby Nursery would be my second choice. Just love those precious babies!!!
  12. by   karenelizabeth
    I think sometimes we are too quick to judge others.

    I had a long chat a while back with a Mum who we were all worried about because she spent so little tine in with her baby but she had lost the twin to her and was also quite shy so was not only petrified of loosing the surviving twin, but waiting for us to allow her to do things !!!!!!!!!! It took a lot of work from me and the parent baby interaction adviser to build up this Mums confidence, suggesting to her what she could do, asking her what she would like to do, before she asked for herself.

    Kangaroo care was the thing she most enjoyed but initially when she was ventilated I was the only person confident enough to encourage her, she would sit for hours like that It was so nice to see it was the only time in those early months I saw Mum smile infact she positively glowed (brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it now).

    Guilt is a nother problem for Mums they think it is there fault it happened.

    We also had a Mum who pumped whilst in jail had the milk brought in daily by one of the officers she managed to do in for 3 months only seeing him a few times in that time too. Whatever her wrong doing she tried her best to do right by him.

    Oh I've been on NICU for 9 years and love it more each day

    Karen
  13. by   nurseiam
    I agree not to be too quick to judge parents! I work in a reginal transport hospital so we get babies from all over the state. My own experience helps too. I had a 37 weeker with no suck. Once she was just increasing feeds we had her transfered to a hospital closer to work on breastfeeding. That same night I had a whopping infection and was in the other hospital on ABX for 7 days. So you never really know what is going on........
  14. by   cindylouwho
    I've been in the NICU for 24 years........no different for someone that's been here 1 year if you know what I mean

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