Here Rachel... Good luck on your paper!
1. What is your job title?
RN, Staff nurse in neonatal (newborn) intensive care
2. How long have you held this position?
3. What formal training is required for this job?
Well, I have a BSN (a bachelors degree in nursing), meaning I went to college for four years to train for this job. If you mean on-the-job training, I had a 12 week orientation to my unit where I was directly supervised by a more experienced nurse, in order to become familiar with the conditions of the babies and equipment we use, etc.
4. What degree, certificate or tests do you have to have in order to perform this job? I have my BSN, passed the NCLEX-RN (the national license exam), and am certified in basic life support and NRP (neonatal resucitation provider).
5. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Being able to comfort and support the parents of a critical newborn, whose "wonderful miracle" didn't go quite as planned- and sending that baby home healthy. There's nothing quite like starting with a 1 or 2lb little guy and sending home a chubby 10lb baby!
6. What is the most challenging/difficult aspect of your job?
Losing the babies that can't be saved, or some of the difficult social situations you see. Like 16 year old, drug addicted mothers having twins. It is also challenging to learn how to assimilate the different "pieces of the puzzle" you have in front of you... For example, if my baby's heart rate goes up, what does that mean? Is it because of some condition they have? Are they mad, or too warm? You constantly must look at what is happening with your patient, figure out why, and if/how to fix it.
7. What skills that your learned in high school do you use frequently in your job?
I use alot of math and science skills (yes, algebra and chemistry suck when you're 15, but they will be important later!), as well as written and verbal communication skills every day. I have to make sure that any information I am charting or telling to a physician or family is clear and understandable.
8. What advice would you offer to somone considering a career in this field?
If you are entering nursing for any other reason that truly feeling CALLED in that direction, you may want to reconsider. We work long hours at a 24/7 job, and we don't make much money considering the responsibility of the job. We see people in the worst crises of their lives. We encounter things so gross you can't imagine. However, if you believe that you were made to be a nurse, you can look at the above facts and say, "So what? This is who I am!" That is when you should be a nurse...
9. What other information can you tell me about your job that might help me in any way?
A little bit about neonatal intensive care nursing- we mostly deal with premature infants (as young as 23-24 weeks gestation, normal is 40 weeks), but also get kids born on time, but with diseases or birth defects. We can get babies with everything from heart defects to lung problems to Down's syndrome to off the wall things like gastroschesis- where your intestines are on the outside of your body- or sometimes babies with injuries from the birth process. It's a really neat field of nursing because you work with many different kinds of diagnoses, compared to something like a cardiac nurse, who only does heart patients. Plus, there are babies! What can be wrong with a job where there are babies!?!