Poll: What do you love about the NICU? - page 6
I'm a nursing student with not too much farther to go. (YEAH!). I'm giving serious thought to starting in the NICU post-graduation. From what I have observed, it just seems to be the right fit for... Read More
Jun 25, '06Hey there guys..new to the site, but wanted to just add a couple of things regarding NICU. I can say that it is SOOO much better now than back in the day when we used high-pressure Baby Bird Vents and most of the babies had at least 1 chest tube. We had chronic babies stay in NICU for well over a year. By then they were BPDer's and had trachs with vent support. One little guy was with us so long he actually had a little walker to get around the unit. It was pretty depressing back then. Alot of CP babies and others with extremely poor prognosis and quality of life. It was mentally, physically and spiritually draining, but we did the best we could.
Now we have the benefit of being able to Surf the babies and keep them on low pressures. What an incredible difference! There are other changes and advancements that make NICU a much happier place to work these days!
Now, I do have the opinion if one is interested in NICU that some time in Well-Baby Nursery would be advantageous. I've always thought it helps to know what is normal in a baby before being hit with a 24 week fetus. Not only that, Well-Baby presents a special challenge of receiving a "blank slate" and having exceedingly good assessment skills so that if there is a problem...it is picked up before that baby goes home.
Also, I think your job satisfaction (like any department) depends alot on support by the Hospital Management. If you're lucky, you may have a Supervisor who supports and guides your NICU nurses. If not, a 2 year contract can turn into a sentence in Purgatory (or worse)!
Best NICU's I've worked? UTMB @ Galveston, Tx., Rapid City Regional Hospital in South Dakota, Ft.Worth Children's Hospital.
So good luck to all you New Grads And start wearing a good pair of support stockings to keep your varicose veins in check!HA!
Jun 28, '06Quote from jarde8I agree, this is my ultimate love in the NICU. I love being the first nurse to let a mom hold her baby.Hi to all ,
Tonight I am looking after the same bub , stabilised thru the day and by night was able to give the long awaited first cuddle between mum and her gorgeous son!! Obviously still not out of the woods but thats what it all about.
A lot of nurses in my unit have a policy to never let a mom hold if a baby has a UAC. But, I came originally from a unit where we would let them hold with chest tubes, ETT, and UAC's, as long as they were stable. We very rarely had one extubate, or loose a line while mom was holding, and the infant usually would keep 100% sat while they were being held. You just have to be extra careful if they have any of the above. However, due to others fears, I have changed and won't let them hold if they have anything more than a UAC. So, therefore, our Neo purposely tells moms when I have their baby that they can hold that day.
Now some of the newer nurses are starting to do the same thing. It can sometimes make a big change in how a mom looks at her baby, and I think it is always worth it.
Also, I thing NoCrumping said it best, I agree with her whole heartedly.
Jul 24, '06I have wanted to become a nurse for about 10 years. It has taken quite a while to get through the prereqs and "life", but now I think I know why. I needed the experience I've had with my 34-week ex-preemie daughter who has Down syndrome to show me where I need to be. She had a VERY rough start--Life flight, TMD, VSD, ASD, vents, exchange transfusions, open-heart surgery, pacemaker implantation, etc.--We had the BEST nurses and physicians imagineable, all treating her and our family as though we were part of theirs. I had always thought I'd work in a setting other than neonatal or pediatric ICU; now I am sure I've been "called" to this. What you are all saying was apparent in how our daughter's nurses performed 24/7 for the times she was in the hospital. I hope to someday be able to "pay it forward"
Aug 7, '06It is great to hear everyone's response to this question. I love critical care and could not imagine myself doing anything else. I have always wanted to work in a NICU but never had the opportunity arise until now. I have an interview this Thursday and I am nervous to say the least. I just think that I need a change in my career and this is a wonderful opportunity. I love working with the elderly but neonatal are brought into this world and all way want to do is survive and be loved and I think that makes a NICU nurses so special. I just hope that if I am offered the position that is will be a easier transition hopefully..I know the patient is smaller and parameters will be different and medications are different but critical care basics is still the same. I am really excited and I know this will be a wonderful experience.
Aug 24, '06Wow you guys have really helped me alot. I've always wanted to be a neonatal nurse but I wasn't sure if I could handle it but now I know that I can. I'm so anxious to start already. Thank you all so much for your insight in Neonatalogy
Aug 27, '06With my two children growing up fast, I love that I can always take care of a baby! My marternal instinct drew me to NICU. I started in Mother-baby...my children were 1 & 2 at the time. I wanted a non stress nursing area after school. I knew that with 2 toddlers it would be hard to work FT, but I had to. So, after 2 years in MB, I needed some challanging.
So, I followed a few friends across the street to the children's hospital. I've been here in the surgical NICU ever since. Yes, as people always ask, it can be hard and emotional, but the families are so appreciative of every little thing you do. And, when you see a baby progress it is so rewarding.
Hope you have find your nich!
Aug 28, '06This is a wonderful post - I just accepted a position in NICU and I'm a little scared - I have 19mo experience as a nurse, but with adult primary care outpatient (basically, doctors office). I thought I always wanted to do L/D - but have never been able to get a slot - so when NICU came along, and they WANTED me, lack of experience and all - I thought, well maybe this is REALLY mycalling ....so thanks to all who have shared and have me now thinking that NICU just may be the perfect nursing role for me - thanks
Aug 29, '06Some of the things I love about the nicu is that I get to help parents learn to take care of there new children. I also enjoy the critical aspects of the unit from the vents to the drips we infuse. I also enjpy watching the babies for the most part start to improve and see the smiles on their moms and dads faces as the watch them get closer and closer to going home. I also love how laid back our unit can be and the fun my coworkers and I can have while taking care of the babes. This is just a few if I had more time im sure I could come up with a longer list.:angel2:
Sep 23, '06Wow! I'm new here and these posts really made me realize how much I LOVE what I do. Currently, we moved to a place that doesn't have a NICU and these posts are making me have NICU withdrawls. For the same reasons that everyone has said...seems like a tape recorder of my own thoughts....I love the NICU. I was called to be a baby nurse from the time I was a little girl. It is the only thing I ever wanted to do. First, it was a baby doctor, then realized I would be 30 before I got to do patient care, and decided being a NICU nurse would be better, and by the time I was 21, landed myself in a nursery where I thought to myself every day...I can't believe I get paid to do this?!? I have the best job in the entire world! I could repeat what the other posts said, but I will just say to anyone who is wondering what it's like being a NICU nurse these posts pretty much sum it up. It is the most challenging and rewarding job I could ever dream of. The only thing I have ever disliked about my job was the noise (worked mostly in a 50 bed open bay unit where you heard alarms going off and babies crying 24/7) and that was really overstimulating after 12-13 hours. Oh, and the babies born addicted to drugs or with FAS. That always infuriated me and made me want to strangle the mother instead of help her. The shear fact that those babies could have been perfect if it weren't for their ignorant, selfish mothers. Good luck to anyone who choses this field. I gaurentee you won't regret it.
Nov 23, '06to be truthful I never wanted to work there...but I was Just posted there 15 years ago......now I am hooked....I love the tiny little feet of premies...the smiles and truthful thank yous of parents.....all babies large and small with thier different charectrs which they show from start....you just cannot help loving them and giving all that you know to achieve maximum care
Nov 28, '06Hello everyone, I am a new member! I was a NICU baby (@ 25 weeks) and aspire to become a NICU RN. I cannot explain the pull I have to work in this specialty. This sticky provides wonderful insight! Thank you.
Dec 4, '06Nicu is the best! All of the other posts sum it up correctly and give the right answers. Where else can you change the bed while holding your patient? What other ICU puts their pts in swings? The gratification of seeing a very sick baby become a "gainer/grower" is amazing and helping the family through this journey is quite a rewarding experience.
Dec 5, '06I love when I'm the first nurse to let a parent hold their baby. Especially when the baby was really sick and finally turns the corner and is stable enough to be held. Over the summer we had 24 week twins that were really sick; vented, on pressors, etc. Dad was so scared to even walk in the door, and one night I finally convinced him to hold one of his girls. He happened to be wearing a button-down shirt, and I managed to not only convince him to hold his daughter, but to kangaroo her! The look on his face was priceless, and when he saw her heart rate come down and her sats go up, and I weaned her O's, he understood what I meant when I told him that it would be good for both of them.
I love my job!