I'm so happy I'm getting teary-eyed!!

by SteveNNP SteveNNP, MSN, NP Member Expert Nurse

Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience.

YES! I am a man getting teary-eyed!!

Many of you heard from me as I asked countless questions while contemplating accepting a LIII NICU position, began orientation, came off orientation, etc. I just had to share what happened the other night that made my day.

I was called at home, and begged to come in to work, as they were extremely understaffed, and my pt from the night before whose belly blew up and got very ill, had undergone emergency surgery for a perf'd bowel w/ inguinal herniation/peritonitis. I had been stressed out caring for this kid the night before, but I had slept all day, and i figured I'd might as well get paid auction pay for being up all night anyway. So I came in and was reassigned to my now fresh postop pt and an OG feeder. [poor kid, I barely had time to make sure he was breathing ;>P]

I spent the entire night keeping my postop pt alive, giving blood products, volume expanders, pulling an art line that went bad and turned his fingers blue, starting dopamine, freaking out when his lower half became grossly underperfused, with a 10mmHg pressure difference btwn upper/lower limbs, and a 10 sec cap refill time in his feet. The night became a detective chase, with the MD and I trying to manage all his problems and figure out what was going on with him. He then had no urinary output, and his ileostomy started looking dusky. So to make an already long story short, by 8am I was way behind and exhausted. After finishing up my 4 pages of narrative charting, in addition to my regular flow charting, in the middle of giving report, I spoke to the MD one last time to get orders. At the end he mentioned, "You have done an excellent job with this patient tonight, I just wanted to let you know...." I almost cracked a tooth, I smiled so wide. That meant the world to me. Even though I worked my tail off, the MD I respect the most gave me a word of encouragement. While giving report, the RN who was taking my pt [also my preceptor a few months ago] looked at me and said, "well, you are a real NICU nurse now!...you have proven that you can take a challenge that is given to you, and handle it without a problem." I almost cried, I was so happy! That was the first time I realized that I was a REAL NICU nurse now, not just a new grad learning the ropes! Sometimes I feel so inadequate and helpless, but this made it allo worth it. Thanks for reading my story. I just had to share this with someone!


labcat01, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, CVICU. 629 Posts

Awesome! Even I got teary-eyed reading it! I'm so glad you had such a great experience. Hopefully you can use this to get you through the tough days :)

Congrats on being a REAL NICU nurse!



Specializes in med-surg, cardiac obs.. Has 11 years experience. 5 Posts

COngratulations on a job well done.

oh yeah, man tears are OK too.



Has 6 years experience. 105 Posts

congratulations! How nice it is for people to hand out "atta-boys" once in a while. :yeah:

I got a couple myself during my last shift. I had 2 patients say, "wow, I bet you've been doing this a long time!" OR "You sure did a good job. Are you going to be my nurse tomorrow?". I just graduated (ADN) in June, thanks, I've been working since July.

I bet that NICU stuff would be extremely difficult to orient to as a new grad. I just took PALS last week, loved it - but wow, talk about stressful if a little tyke has a cap refill of 10! Wow! Good job.

Gompers, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. 2,691 Posts

Very cool! Don't you just love days like that? I mean, first of all, realizing for yourself that you CAN take care of such sick babies. But then, to have not one but TWO other people that you admire say the same thing to you...just such a good morale booster. And I'm sure you needed one after two nights in a row of very hard work.

I had a similar night a month or two ago, also a post-op gut baby. However, my night didn't go as well as yours and I came to this board to vent my frustration instead. Of course, the next night, I also was reassigned the same baby and he was much improved - and I was pleased to see all the interventions I had thought were necessary were indeed done and it was a big part of why he was doing bettter. (BTW, that same baby is doing awesome now!)

Again, glad your night ended well.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 30 years experience. 32,312 Posts

That's what nursing is all about. Thanks for sharing your story.


dawngloves, BSN, RN

2,399 Posts

:yelclap: :yeah: I would have fallen over if a doc told me I did a good job!

prmenrs, RN

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control. Has 42 years experience. 4,565 Posts

Great Job!!!!



Specializes in NICU. 199 Posts

Fabulous job! I am so looking forward to the day when it all comes together. I graduate in May and am aiming for the NICU! It gives me much encouragement to read a story from another new grad who went straight to the NICU. I can not wait! I fell in love with the NICU the day I shadowed there and have used that experience to get me through the hard days of nursing school. :p

Thanks for sharing your story and again CONGRATS!:kiss



Specializes in NICU. Has 21 years experience. 52 Posts

Pat on the back to you on a job well done. Situations like these and the fact that you handled it without quitting might be telling you that you are in the area you were meant to be! To hear from a doctor "congrats" is always encouraging!

Deidre Shiobhan

Deidre Shiobhan

82 Posts

Good job! I feel so touched and motivated upon hearing your experience. It's very drained to nurse such a bad case, at times I really feel like walking out but of course it's just a thought. Keep up the GOOD JOB!:yelclap:


bluesky, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ER. Has 4 years experience. 864 Posts

Steve you are awesome !!! And remember that you are an excellent nurse even on the days when things don't all work perfectly! :)

Let me just state for the record that just the thought of taking care of a teeny tiny baby scares the absolute beejeezes out of me and I have a tremendous amount of admiration for you folks who do it on a daily basis.

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