Poll: What do you love about the NICU? - page 7

by carolina_girl 122,137 Views | 139 Comments

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 me. We get a 6 week... Read More


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    Quote from NoCrumping
    I love the fact that every single thing that I do for that baby matters.... I love the hi tech atmosphere... I love being respected and made to feel necessary by the docs...I love being actually asked by the docs "what do you think we should do for this kid?" and them actually take my advice.... I love making a scared parent feel more at ease with just looking at their frail infant.......I love when a tiny microchip that I helped care for, is a chubby lil one, on full feeds, going home to their family......I love working alongside some of the best docs in neonatal medicine in the country...I also dont mind not ever being allowed to float (we can NEVER spare nurses).... I love telling people what I do, and really sensing their admiration.....I love the overtime in my paycheck, which there is plenty of........I love having a doc around 24/7 365, (not so in so many areas of nsg).I love having just 2 pts to focus on.......I also love going to the feeder grower room sometimes where I can wrap a baby like a burrito and feed her a bottle... and think... "I get paid for this, it doesnt get any better"......I love that I am entrusted with caring for these babies, I truely feel priveleged. I love that my borderline OCD is actually a good thing at work!!!:chuckle ..........I love that I never have to work adult med/surg....I love that I love it so much!!!!! Almost everybody I ask, knew right away this is where they wanted to be. NICU isnt a place that can "grow" on you....I believe its a calling. It's scary, and if your not scared, then watch out... you -dont- know- what- you -dont- know!!!! Good luck, in getting the NICU spot... my school never had that option........
    Thank you, Crumper, for the words of encouragement. I printed your response on an index card and kept it in my nursing school binder during my last quarter of school. I am now working in a Level III NICU and can relate to every word that was said.
    longhornlady96 and Sun*shine like this.
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    I plan to become a nurse at almost middle age, and I've felt called to the NICU. What's interesting: I have no children, I have no siblings, I have had little babysitting experience, and mostly with older children. I'd have to learn how to change a diaper and feed a baby! Yet, I feel called to this area. I appreciated all of your stories!
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    hi everyone... im a newbie here and im amazed at how all of you are doing in your job by reading the things u wrote. wow! i can say that you all are extraordinary people because as i read one post to another, i feel so much touched that i think some tears are flowing in my eyes... im really amazed by the testimonials of how much you love your job.

    its just that i have interview perhaps later and i want to work as a pedia nurse but they will try to place me in the NICU instead. i feel scared to care for the very little ones..you know... but i really like to care for them too...its just that i have a lot of emotions...

    reading posts from here really made me feel that NICU is my "calling" as well as i feel very excited to be a part of the NICU team in time... hopefully i will be granted a chance to work there.

    i agree to the things that you people say and i hope if God's willing that i could really feel the things that you all are saying... im looking forward to experience the wonderful and fulfilling moments which most of you are mentioning here... its so motivating and satisfying to hear you people say all those inspiring posts you posted. thank you!
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    Reading all these posts is giving me warm fuzzies.
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    Well I'm not a NICU nurse but I did my final semester preceptorship in the NICU and I absolutely loved it. Always knew I wanted to work with either children or babies when I became a nurse. I love the continuity of care...seeing a baby born so small or so sick and eventually get well enough to go home. In fact, there was one time my preceptor told me to go to see a c-section for a total previa. That delivery turned out to be a code white. The baby came out blue and floppy. Apgar scores were 3 and 2. Took awhile to get the baby stabilized but eventually the team working on the baby was able to transfer her to the NICU. Baby was on the vent for a few days. About a week and a half later, I was assigned to care for that baby with my preceptor. When I took care of her, she was a total grower/feeder. No vent, no IV's, no nothing. Just still in an isolette. I think in the NICU you see the changes faster than anywhere else. One week you are caring for a really small or really sick baby. The next week or even the next day, there could be a complete change. I really like to see that progress and work with families to help them feel comfortable. There was one time I was given a three baby assignment which I took care of almost on my own. I must have done a good job because my preceptor told me that I had made her bored because she had nothing to do. And one of the mothers of a baby I was not even assigned to had thanked me for all the hard work I had done. And that baby's nurse was busy doing something else, the mother asked me if I could way the baby after she finished breastfeeding. I felt extremely rewarded after that day. As for the smells...and the diaper changing. I actually did not mind one bit changing a diaper for a baby opposed to changing an adult's diaper. Smell is much more bearable. And with a baby you can always joke around with the baby by saying "pee ew, you're a little stinky aren't you?" You can't do that with an adult. AFter I graduated I had wanted to go to a new grad program in the NICU. However everywhere I applied to, there were no openings in that unit. But I did land a great NEW Grad program in pediatrics. I can't wait to get started.
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    Hey 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!
    NursePati87 and fiveofpeep like this.
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    Quote from jarde8
    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.
    I agree, this is my ultimate love in the NICU. I love being the first nurse to let a mom hold her baby.

    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.
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    I 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"
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    It 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.
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    Wow 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


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