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what's the difference between mom/baby and new born icu

Nurses   (2,312 Views 6 Comments)
by sourapril sourapril (Member)

sourapril has 5 years experience and specializes in public health.

2 Articles; 18,857 Visitors; 723 Posts

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For those who had experience working in either or both, can you tell me what's your experience like in either field? pros/cons, differences, stress level? Thanks!

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labordude has 13 years experience and specializes in Labor and Delivery, OBED, NICU, Lactation.

11,260 Visitors; 392 Posts

These are two very different units in terms of well..everything except the age of the population.

Newborn ICU is a unit for neonates (those less than 28 days of life typically) that require an increased level of care because of illness or prematurity. It can be a very stressful environment and requires a strong understanding of neonatal physiology and fetal development. This is not information typically learned in-depth in nursing school, but rather learned during formal orientations into the neonatal ICU nursing position. Here is a link to information about NICU nursing. http://www.discovernursing.com/jnj-specialtyID_108-dsc-specialty_detail.aspx

Mother/Baby is a well-baby floor for those newborns that have no need for specialized care interventions and are able to stay with the mom after birth. "Couplet care" or caring for mother/infant combos is a common way of assigning patients. In this situation, the infants and moms are there only for a very short time and there is always a lot of teaching and things to get done. Each specialty is stressful in its own way and they require a different skillset, but also a different focus. Here is a link to mother/baby nursing information, also known as perinatal nursing. http://www.discovernursing.com/jnj-specialtyID_105-dsc-specialty_detail.aspx

It is hard to list pros/cons because one person's pro is another's con. For me, I love working with high acuity, high technology patients in the NICU, but at the same time enjoy helping the family bond and learn how to care for their infant. I get to wear both hats, but I don't provide nursing care to the mother. The facility you work in has a lot to do with what benefits you will get in terms of weekend schedules, shift rotations, etc. Not every NICU or M/B unit is going to be 12-hr shifts, every third weekend, etc. Finding out WHAT you like to do is more important and if you get a chance to try both, DO IT!

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sourapril has 5 years experience and specializes in public health.

2 Articles; 18,857 Visitors; 723 Posts

Thank you, NICUGUY, it's really helpful. I was offered a position in M/B unit but the nurse at NICU from the same hospital just called and want to interview me. I would like to try both but I don't think 2 full time jobs is possible for me. I think M/B is a good place to start. Maybe after a 6 months to a year, I can transfer to NICU if I want different challenge.

These are two very different units in terms of well..everything except the age of the population.

Newborn ICU is a unit for neonates (those less than 28 days of life typically) that require an increased level of care because of illness or prematurity. It can be a very stressful environment and requires a strong understanding of neonatal physiology and fetal development. This is not information typically learned in-depth in nursing school, but rather learned during formal orientations into the neonatal ICU nursing position. Here is a link to information about NICU nursing. http://www.discovernursing.com/jnj-specialtyID_108-dsc-specialty_detail.aspx

Mother/Baby is a well-baby floor for those newborns that have no need for specialized care interventions and are able to stay with the mom after birth. "Couplet care" or caring for mother/infant combos is a common way of assigning patients. In this situation, the infants and moms are there only for a very short time and there is always a lot of teaching and things to get done. Each specialty is stressful in its own way and they require a different skillset, but also a different focus. Here is a link to mother/baby nursing information, also known as perinatal nursing. http://www.discovernursing.com/jnj-specialtyID_105-dsc-specialty_detail.aspx

It is hard to list pros/cons because one person's pro is another's con. For me, I love working with high acuity, high technology patients in the NICU, but at the same time enjoy helping the family bond and learn how to care for their infant. I get to wear both hats, but I don't provide nursing care to the mother. The facility you work in has a lot to do with what benefits you will get in terms of weekend schedules, shift rotations, etc. Not every NICU or M/B unit is going to be 12-hr shifts, every third weekend, etc. Finding out WHAT you like to do is more important and if you get a chance to try both, DO IT!

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rockabye specializes in NICU.

3,058 Visitors; 147 Posts

I agree that m/b would be a great place to start. There you can learn the basics and see what "normal" and healthy newborns are like. I started out in NICU right away. I prefer taking care of the babies over the mothers, so that is a plus for NICU. All I have to do with the parents is education. A few of my coworkers came from newborn nursery. They said that it was sometimes more stressful and busy there than in the NICU because they usually had a lot more babies to care for at a time. If you want something more challenging and varied in the future, m/b to nicu would be an easier transition than other fields in my opinion. I think m/b is more a time-management kind of stress and nicu would be using more critical thinking.

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mnbrn has 18 years experience and specializes in Utilization Review, OB GYN, NICU.

2,111 Visitors; 40 Posts

I did NICU for 14 years. I love it, but felt it was time for change, so now I do Mother/Baby.

NICU- I love the attention to detail, fast pace, high acuity (HFOV, ECMO, Jets, lines, etc), educating family. NICU is very rewarding, but very draining and stressful. Knowledge in mental health is also helpful. Parents are in crisis mode, and need support.

Mother/Baby- I am loving it! The pace is steady. Less stressful (esp. after doing NICU). There is potential for complications, so good assessment skills are a must. There is also a lot of educating.

Mother/Baby would be a great place to start. Learn good assessment and nursing skills, normal newborn assessment and care, time management, etc.

Good luck!!

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mustlovepoodles has 38 years experience and specializes in OB/GYN, peds, school nurse, DD.

9,594 Visitors; 1,041 Posts

Thank you, NICUGUY, it's really helpful. I was offered a position in M/B unit but the nurse at NICU from the same hospital just called and want to interview me. I would like to try both but I don't think 2 full time jobs is possible for me. I think M/B is a good place to start. Maybe after a 6 months to a year, I can transfer to NICU if I want different challenge.

That's how i got into NICU. I had worked 2 years in a traditional L&D before moving to a Mother/Baby setting where I had more interaction with normal babies and mothers. Then my hospital opened their NICU and required all the M/B RNs to cross train. I really didn't think I would like the intensity of NICU, but I loved it! I did NICU, and later PICU, for about 10 years until my youngest child was born. I no longer do intensive care, but I really enjoyed it at the time.

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