Poll: What do you love about the NICU?

  1. 2
    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 preceptorship right before we graduate, so I'm hoping I'll be fortunate enough to get one of the limited NICU slots. I was just wondering why all of you love NICU nursing as opposed to general med-surg floors, peds, adult ICUs, ED, etc.... Also, what do you NOT like about the NICU? I just want to make sure I'm making the right decision here. TIA!
    trowe24 and StephS2013 like this.
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  4. 139 Comments so far...

  5. 5
    I love working in an intensive care area where I am responsible for my 2 patients and do everything for them. I think NICU is unique in that it really blends family care with the technology of intensive care very well. I love being able to follow a baby from very sick until discharge. I like seeing the parents progress to the point where they are really able to care for their child. Sometimes their extended stays can be a bad thing though if the family is really challenging. (Yeah, that's right, I said it. Some families are hard to deal with and it can be really draining). I just feel this is a rewarding area, even when the outcomes aren't great. The experience that I think has been the most meaningful for me as a nurse was looking after a baby that died.
    cardimama, Beatrice91, jhatRN, and 2 others like this.
  6. 35
    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........
    cardimama, twinkletoes53, sommeil, and 32 others like this.
  7. 5
    NoCrumping--I couldn't have said that any better. When I go to work, i am amazed at how I fall in love with my job all over again. where else can we go and one day have the sickest baby in the unit, and the next day, pick up a baby and feed it a bottle and cuddle--Life just doesn't get any better!! and on top of it all--we get paid for having a job that we love!!
    twinkletoes53, Beatrice91, Satori77, and 2 others like this.
  8. 4
    I agree with a lot of the things No Crumping and Fergus said.
    PLUS, there are some practical things.
    1.) All my babies, even when I am caring for too many, are right there in front of me. My assignment is within 10 to 20 feet of walking from one end of the assignment to another.
    2.) I can pick up most of my patients with one hand....lifting a patient has never thrown my back out. Although I did wrench it pushing a stubborn radiant warmer once.
    3.) The smells--as in they really aren't that bad. Some of the chronic BPD babies get "the funk." that smell that no amount of baby wash can get rid of. Oh they might smell ok for a couple of hours but by the end of the shift it returns. Most of the poop isn't bad unless they're on high cal or study formulas. No comparison- baby ostomy vs. an adult.
  9. 0
    [QUOTE=where else can we go and one day have the sickest baby in the unit, and the next day, pick up a baby and feed it a bottle and cuddle--Life just doesn't get any better!! and on top of it all--we get paid for having a job that we love!![/QUOTE]

    cswain, absolutely nowhere!!!! I am sure of it......every nurse loves NICU.... most just dont know it yet.....lol
  10. 1
    Pretty much everything No Crumping said. I love the fact the docs are availabe 24/7. This is practically unheard of in other areas of nursing. IF we do have to float, it's only to Pedi/Well-Baby nursery or OB. All of the NICU nurses I work with seem to really like their job.
    We recently had a few leave because they moved out of state, not because they disliked thier jobs. Turnover can be sort of high among newer people. Like we get a whole slew of new grads that want to work NICU because they "love babies" then discover that alone is not a good reason. But the ones that really like it tend to stay long term.
    I really like where I work but won't stay there forever because we are a level 2 (a little more than a level 2...we have vents but not quite enough stuff to be level 3) and will not expand anytime soon. I want to broaden my range of experience. And if I go to school for my NNP, I will need level 3 experience.
    MMARN likes this.
  11. 1
    Ya know what? I dont even know whateven DREW me to NICU... I mean, I love babies, but not more than most, I never had a child in the NICU, none of my family or friends had, I didnt even have a rotation there in nursing school... it wasnt even an option.....Its weird!!! I guess, not to sound corny, it was a "calling". I think I remember seeing a show or reading a nursing mag article or something, and I decided that was all I wanted to do....then I dove right into it all........
    StudentNurseSteph likes this.
  12. 3
    i agree with a lot of what people said--some of my thoughts to add:
    1. even though it's intensive care, and it can get crazy, i still don't feel as overwhelmed as i did on other units. there are def. days when i can't eat, but more often than not i get time for breakfast, lunch, etc. which is always nice, and i can plan my day better.
    2. i like being able to assess my babies and do work with them while still chatting away with my bay or room mate.
    3. i like being part of the experience of a parent getting to connect with their baby for the first time, and that feeling of fulfillment. handing a new dad his baby to hold for the first time after seeing his baby so sick, and seeing the tears form--it's an awesome feeling.
    4. and the best part, and this may sound cheesy, is the calm or feelings of peace i get when working with a baby all day. to see those big eyes looking up at you, trying to figure the world out it looks like-can't beat that! that's what i'll miss when i go to grad school, but that is also why i plan on working per diem!
    5. i love people's reactions when i tell them what i do.

    there are definitely days when it is so overwhelming, and even after doing your best for someone's child it's just not good enough, or we see sad cases, but my reasons above are just part of what makes me always tell people that i love my job t.
    cardimama, twinkletoes53, and Satori77 like this.
  13. 0
    Quote from t2000JC
    i agree with a lot of what people said--some of my thoughts to add:
    1. even though it's intensive care, and it can get crazy, i still don't feel as overwhelmed as i did on other units. there are def. days when i can't eat, but more often than not i get time for breakfast, lunch, etc. which is always nice, and i can plan my day better.
    2. i like being able to assess my babies and do work with them while still chatting away with my bay or room mate.
    3. i like being part of the experience of a parent getting to connect with their baby for the first time, and that feeling of fulfillment. handing a new dad his baby to hold for the first time after seeing his baby so sick, and seeing the tears form--it's an awesome feeling.
    4. and the best part, and this may sound cheesy, is the calm or feelings of peace i get when working with a baby all day. to see those big eyes looking up at you, trying to figure the world out it looks like-can't beat that! that's what i'll miss when i go to grad school, but that is also why i plan on working per diem!
    5. i love people's reactions when i tell them what i do.

    there are definitely days when it is so overwhelming, and even after doing your best for someone's child it's just not good enough, or we see sad cases, but my reasons above are just part of what makes me always tell people that i love my job t.

    Wow, this is great to read!! I am pretty set on NICU, basically going to school just for this...like NoCrumping, I don't have any personal exp leading me there, I was def.not a NICU parent ( both my babies were BIG and late, dd by 2 weeks!!) I just feel drawn there...for all the reasons mentioned above.Thanks again!!

    NICU RN-in-waiting....


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