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Help! I am starting my internship in the NICU on Tuesday.

NICU   (1,271 Views 3 Comments)
by Johnnysx3Girl Johnnysx3Girl (New) New

556 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Hey ya'll I'm new to this site, and I am starting my internship in the NICU on Tuesday. I am extremely nervous, because last time I set foot in the NICU was over a year ago, and it was strictly observation. So I was wondering if you guys had any advice for me, as well as any cheat sheets that would be useful for doing assessments and whatnot

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iHeartNICU specializes in NICU.

293 Posts; 4,686 Profile Views

HEY! I would say one of the most important things is be willing to learn everything. Ask questions, don't ever feel like it's a stupid questions. Yes, you may get an eye roll or something every once and a while (hopefully not) but don't let that bother you. I know that if I were a patient I would much rather a nurse ask a questions to somebody if they don't know something rather than not asking the question for fear of looking stupid and then doing something wrong.

Also, everybody does everything differently so if you have more than one preceptor just be prepared for that. Hopefully it won't be much of a problem but I know there were some things I learned by my first preceptor and then when I switched, my new preceptor had quite a few choice words for the way I did things....they weren't being done incorrectly, or unsafefely, they just weren't her way of doing things. So, try not to let that bother you too much. Just go with the flow and find your own safe and correct way of doing things.

Your preceptor is so important. They have all of this knowledge to get to you and so little time to do it....listen and learn from them. If for some reason you and your preceptor don't mesh well, talk to him/her about it, try to understand what they need/want from you. Communication is huge. If after you talk to them and things still aren't working and you feel like you're loosing out on this important time, I would talk to whoever is in charge of placing preceptors so that you can get the experience you need....some people just don't work well together for whatever reason and at this point you absolutely need to be with someone you can learn from.

I don't have any cheat sheets really. I know I wrote a ton of things down during orientation but I don't lug all of it around with me anymore. I now know that there are always other nurses around me who I can go to for help during the shift if I need it and I do keep a neonatal nursing book in my locker just in case. Then if I ever get home and want to learn more about something, I look through my book and all of my orientation stuff to refresh my memory.

And after working hard, asking questions, learning everything you can, find time to love what you're doing. The NICU is really an amazing and unique place and it seems like the majority of nurse who work there really enjoy it.

Good luck with your internship!!

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dawnebeth has 24 years experience and specializes in ICN.

146 Posts; 2,759 Profile Views

Keep breathing, take your time and focus on the baby, not the equipment. Review what you know--doing an assessment is the same on every person--just on a baby, you rely more on what you can see. Is he pink all over? What color are the fingers and lips? Is he moving all extremities? Use your eyes and hands while taking a temp. Feel the fontanyl quickly while listening with a stethoscope. Just give yourself time to learn and experience what you can and ask lots of questions, no matter how dumb you think they are!

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