Hi all. I will be volunteering in the NICU as a cuddler, this is a level lll NICU. I'm a stay at home mom with little job experience but I am also a full time student who is pursuing nursing(I'm still taking prerequisites at this point..I'm almost finished with those) It is my dream to be a NICU nurse both of my children were preemies and had short stays in the NICU. I'd like to make a good impression and hopefully gain a valuable reference..can you offer any tips or advice? Will this make a difference on my resume in the future? Thanks.
Definitely a relevant experience to have on your resume if you end up applying to NICU down the road. My advice show up looking and acting professional, be friendly and introduce yourself to staff
Quote from brandi2007
Will this make a difference on my resume in the future?
A cuddler that comes in routinely from pre-reqs to graduation goes to the top of the resume pile along with unit secretary and PCA that are also nursing students in the unit. Never underestimate the power of being a "known quantity". They know you and know what kind of person you are. It makes their job hiring you far easier than hiring an unknown new grad that tries to impress them in a 30 minute interview.
A couple of things you can do to really stand out on the unit:
Get to know the staff. You'll probably have the opportunity to make small talk while you cuddle. Tell them about your desire to work in the NICU. Ask questions. Whenever I have a cuddler who demonstrates interest in the unit, I always try to make time to show them some of the interesting cases when we aren't super-busy.
Ask the charge nurse where you can be most helpful. There are days when 20 kids are screaming and need to be cuddled, and there are days when everybody is settled. If you've got down time (and some days you will), ask where extra help is needed. Similarly, ask the nurses and the unit secretary what they specifically need help with. For instance, I have days when I'm totally slammed, and the biggest help you can offer is to restock the linens in my bedside cart; that will really stand out in my mind. Similarly, you may spend time sorting the huge piles of clean baby clothes into the preemie boy, preemie girl, newborn boy, and newborn girl bins (again, not super-interesting, but very time-consuming and greatly appreciated). Anything you can do to help is better than spending your downtime on your phone. If you've asked and you really can't find anything else to help with, see if you can review the unit resources like handouts for parents or unit policies and procedures.
thanks for the responses!
These are great responses, brandi2007! Not a student anymore, but I sure wish I knew this all before starting nursing school.
I wish you best of luck in your nursing studies and future NICU career!
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