NICU nurses often misunderstood

  1. I am NICU nurse in an institution for almost 3 years.
    So, I have already encountered a lot of patients with different clinical cases.

    One time, I had a premature patient. Our doctor ordered to let the neonate practice thermoregulation, so, I turned off the radiant warmer and swaddle the neonate.
    After swaddling, I fed the baby. Then, the mother called my attention and said that I was too harsh on her baby and that I am not gentle. I was shocked and I didn't know how to respond. So I said that "Maam, I am already 3 years here in NICU" to calm her down. But she didnt let me finish my word, instead, yelled at me "I don't care how many years you have here!".
    She even talk to my charge nurse and our resident doctor. She said to them that she didnt want me to handle her baby.
    After that experience, I felt really degraded and humiliated.

    After all, I just said to myself that my conscience is clean. I didnt cause harm to my patient and I didnt talk back and disrespected her.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Guy in Babyland
    The mother said that you were too harsh (rough) with the baby and not being gentle. What does that have to do with the number of years experience? You can have 20 yrs experience and be rough with a baby.

    "NICU nurses often misunderstood" How were you misunderstood in this situation?

    Quote from margui.yap
    After all, I just said to myself that my conscience is clean. I didnt cause harm to my patient and I didnt talk back and disrespected her.
    Yes you disrespected her by telling her that her impression of you being rough with her child is invalid because you have 3 yrs experience, meaning that you couldn't possibly be rough with a baby.
    Last edit by Guy in Babyland on Aug 19
  4. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    Yes you disrespected her by telling her that her impression of you being rough with her child is invalid because you have 3 yrs experience, meaning that you couldn't possibly be rough with a baby.
    This was my impression, too. It sounds like a bedside manner/rapport issue rather than a knowledge deficit issue.

    I've had NICU parents freak out over just about everything (prone positioning, NG tubes, formula supplementation, scalp IVs, you name it). In addition to physiologically supporting the infant, you have to support the parents (even when you think the parents are overreacting). I try to acknowledge and validate the parents' concerns, then educate them on why we do what we do so that they're on board with the care plan.

    Perhaps that's where you were headed before you got cut off. I'd just skip the "I have x years of experience" unless asked, especially if the family is being argumentative.
  5. by   Coffee Nurse
    Quote from adventure_rn
    This was my impression, too. It sounds like a bedside manner/rapport issue rather than a knowledge deficit issue.

    I've had NICU parents freak out over just about everything (prone positioning, NG tubes, formula supplementation, scalp IVs, you name it). In addition to physiologically supporting the infant, you have to support the parents (even when you think the parents are overreacting). I try to acknowledge and validate the parents' concerns, then educate them on why we do what we do so that they're on board with the care plan.

    Perhaps that's where you were headed before you got cut off. I'd just skip the "I have x years of experience" unless asked, especially if the family is being argumentative.
    This, absolutely. It's all about the education and explaining your actions so that the parents can understand why you've done what you've done. Pulling rank on them by whipping out your years of experience is only going to raise their hackles.

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