What to know before your first day in NICU

  1. 0
    Hi everyone

    I have just been offered a job in a NICU which I am so so excited about, but also very nervous! I am new grad with no experience in paeds or maternity so I will have a lot to learn but up for the challenge! There is a 4 week orientation programme when I first start but I don't want to start not having a clue about anything. I am just wondering if anybody could please give me advice on the most important basic things to know or very common conditions that I will come across?

    Any advice would be very much welcomed! Thanks
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

  4. 4
    4 weeks in NICU as a new grad???? Run away while your license is intact or get more time, a lot more time!

    Posting from my phone, ease forgive my fat thumbs!
  5. 0
    Sorry didn't really explain very well! Initially there will be 4 weeks orientation where I will be doing very little apart from observing and taking iv training and ventilator training days. I will have a mentor for a lot longer than 4 weeks!! I gradually will start by taking a level 1 baby each shift. After a few months I will then be under taking a 6 month neonatal training course provided by the hospital. It is a large teaching hospital that takes in new grads every year and trains them up Definitely would not go near a place with only 4 weeks orientation and then left on your own!!
  6. 0
    Quote from lillycat
    Sorry didn't really explain very well! Initially there will be 4 weeks orientation where I will be doing very little apart from observing and taking iv training and ventilator training days. I will have a mentor for a lot longer than 4 weeks!! I gradually will start by taking a level 1 baby each shift. After a few months I will then be under taking a 6 month neonatal training course provided by the hospital. It is a large teaching hospital that takes in new grads every year and trains them up Definitely would not go near a place with only 4 weeks orientation and then left on your own!!
    Oooooooohhhhhh ok! Makes more sense now! The only reason I assumed you would only get 4 weeks (which is NUTS) is because my soon to be ex-director hired a new grad in our nursery and initially told her shed only get TWO WEEKS orientation!!! We all jumped on him and had to strong arm him for her to get 3 months!!!!!

    Posting from my phone, ease forgive my fat thumbs!
  7. 7
    Advice: Settle in your mind and heart how you will face death. Working in ICU, any ICU, is like combat. You are going to fight death often, and often you will lose. Be careful not to succumb to the temptation to beat yourself up when you lose a patient. Losing a patient does not mean that you are not good enough; it means that the patient was too sick to survive. And don't doubt yourself because, even after years of experience, each death hurts just as much as the first one did. That does not mean that you are not “tough enough;” that is how you are supposed to feel in the face of tragedy. The time to quit is when you stop feeling that pain.

    Best wishes, and God bless you.
    Last edit by CountyRat on Apr 24, '13 : Reason: Syntax
  8. 1
    Get to know your NRP very good,
    Find your friendly respiratory therapist to work on your ventilation & oxygen delivery
    Most of all find a healthy way to cope
    hikernurse likes this.
  9. 0
    Wow great advice thank you so much!
  10. 1
    The NICU is a great place to work, wish I had started NICU as a new grad. Ask lots of questions and seek out lots of different experiences during your orientation. Also you will never know everything but be sure you know where to look it up.
    hikernurse likes this.
  11. 0
    Where is this Lillycat? NICU has been my first choice, but here is so hard to get as a new graduate.
  12. 0
    Quote from SENSUALBLISSINFL
    Where is this Lillycat? NICU has been my first choice, but here is so hard to get as a new graduate.
    This is in London. I was very lucky for the opportunity to come up as it seems like an area very difficult to get into it, in most cases it appears you need NICU experience to get into NICU which is very frustrating as how can you get experience without being given the opportunity! I would suggest to do a total revamp of your CV go into detail of what kind of patient conditions you have been dealing with and interventions that you have been doing. Spend time doing your cover letter explaining how much you would love the opportunity etc. Hope that is of some help!


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