Introducing =)

Specialties NICU


Hi to all. I am Vickie from the suburbs of Dallas, TX. I just wanted to introduce myself to all of the WONDERFUL people that I feel like I know.... I have been looking at this sight for awhile now and finally decided to register.

My story is a long one, so bear with me.

When I was 7, my mother gave birth to the most AMAZING person I know.... A 25 weeker....1 lb 9 oz..... my sister Angelina. She was born at Wilford Hall in San Antonio, Texas in 1980. My parents were told not to name her as this would make them "too attached" to a baby who would never survive anyway. Well, obviously, they didn't listen and gave her a name that meant "angels watching over me".... a name she TRULY needed. I watched in AWE as the doctors and (MOSTLY) the nurses worked around the clock on this TINY baby that looked to me to be about the same size as my barbies !!! Anyway..... she is 22 today and has an array of medical issues to this day, including legal blindness, but she is ALIVE thanks to people like you and I will always be grateful.

SOOOOO..... now I know you all see where I am going with this. I have DREAMED of being in NICU as far back as 1980. I now work in Ophthalmology in a doctor's office and have been doing so for 8 years. I am not an R.N. (yet) but am certified as an ophthalmic technician. Almost "like" being a nurse, I work up the patients in the office, assist in the O.R......etc.etc.

Anyway, I am FINALLY going back to school, working on my pre-req's now (just starting my third semester). I am hoping to start the actual nursing program Jan '05. I still have to work for now to pay my way through school, so I am STRETCHED for time and energy (nevermind the fact that I have a seven year old and a three year old at home to care for). But, I plan on joining all you miracle makers out there, and I plan on coming here again and again in the next few years for encouragement. I will need it as I am sure these next few years will be rough.

Thanks SO much for ALL you do- this coming from a FAMILY MEMBER and a (future) NICU nurse.

Love, Vickie


150 Posts

Welcome Vickie,

I am also from the DFW area. That's quite a story about your sister! Have you thought about volunteering in the NICU as a cuddler? There are quite a few NICU's in the DFW area that have cuddlers. It would be a good way for you to get some exposure to the NICU environment and I imagine that it would be a strong motivator for you to get through school. I'm sure that it is hard to imagine adding something else to your already busy schedule. Just a thought!!


5 Posts

WOW !! What an idea ! Thanks so much, and I imagine this would look good when applying later, or even for getting my foot in the door at a hospital..... not that it would be the only reason. It would be a GREAT way to just get in there and see how it feels being around those teenie babies. Any thoughts on the best or worst hospitals in our area?

Thanks again, Vic

TiffyRN, BSN, PhD

2,315 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Scientist-Research.

My husband and I both work in the DFW area in two different NICU's and don't know of any programs in this area. Not that I doubt their existence at all we just obviously haven't asked the right people yet. His mother is very interested in a cuddle program. She does what she can now crocheting hats and blankets but wants to do more.

Specializes in NICU.

Does the Children's Center in Dallas have cuddling programs? My cousin used to live down there, and I know that they have pediatric volunteer sitter programs (where you sit with pedi patients of all ages- just depends on who's sick and hospitalized), so that would probably be the first place I'd check. She had to go through some sort of training (I think to recognize if a patient was in distress while she was sitting, how to discuss their hospitalization, etc.) and then she really enjoyed spending time with the kids there. She worked with babies when they were admitted, and she just loved doing it, but she also got to sit with younger children when their parents weren't at the hospital- toddlers, under 5's, etc. So it wasn't *just* babies, but still might be something you want to check into. I doubt that they have an age limit. :)


150 Posts

I know for sure that Methodist in Dallas has a cuddler program. The cuddler's go through some brief training and they are then able to hold, feed, take temp, and change the stable babies. Only bottle feeding, no gavages. I also know someone that used to volunteer in the NICU at Medical City Dallas and Cook Childrens has "rockin mamas" in their NICU. There are A LOT of NICU's in the DFW area. The best thing would be to call the volunteer dept. of the hospital and ask what volunteer opportunities are available in the NICU.

As NICU_nurse said I would check out Children's Medical Center of Dallas as well. You would likely be with kids of all ages though if that's ok. They do not have a NICU.

Good luck!!

TiffyRN, BSN, PhD

2,315 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Scientist-Research.

Thanks for that information. I willsee my mother-in-law today and we can call around. She will be retiring soon and might need something to keep herself busy.


3 Posts

I think it's great that you want to be a NICU nurse. I was also a late comer

to this wonderful profession. My first baby was in and out of the hospital

for his first few years of life, and I thought I would love to some day be able

to do for others, what was done for our family. After my fourth child was

born, I started going to school part time, as well as work. Four years later

I graduated with an Associates degree and went on for my Bachelors. It

was all worth it. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. The cuddling

program would be both a good experience, and rewarding.


5 Posts

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement babiesrn. And also everyone else for all the advice. It is so helpful.


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