I've been working as a "cuddler" in a local NICU for a short time now. We have been through the standard background check given the rest of the hospital volunteers.
Since I had been working in L&D as a volunteer for the past 3 years, they were able to get me in a little sooner. I don't know for sure about a wait list but I know that they were not going to have a new training this year.
We feed and change babies, mostly stable feeder/growers, give the baby Sweetease (if baby can have it), help find "lost" pacifers, and generally hold those who are stable and are fussy.
I'm very grateful for this opportunity and I've found out that NICU is a whole different world!! When I went to work in L&D, I knew
what to do. However, NICU is a world unto it's own and there's definitely a learning curve. When I left last week it seemed that I did a lot of things wrong. I decided to make a list of things I did right. I came up with 2: I remembered to take off my wedding ring before going into the unit and 2) I didn't kill anyone.
I did pull off a few leads unintentionally though, but I had an understanding nurse right beside me.
If anyone is interested in working in NICU, I suggest working as a cuddler to get an idea of what the NICU is like. I now have a whole new perception of the NICU and I'm so happy that I became a cuddler.