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Is working in the NICU a good idea for me, as a person with mild cerebral palsy?

I will be applying to an adn nursing program next year and am looking at possibly working in the NICU because it's not as physically demanding. It's important that it's not so physically demanding as I have a mild form of cerbral palsy which affects the coordination of my legs and feet.

In my case of cerebral palsy, I am able to walk but not in a coordinately manner to a certain extent; and I do tend to get tired alittle quicker than the average person(physically leg and feet wise); but am able to stand for sufficient amounts of time. I was originally thinking of working in the ER as a nurse but in reality I don't think I would be able to handle it physically because there would be too much running around from room to room and I can't lift and carry regularly sized patients.

** The reason I'm thinking of working in the NICU and or nursery is because all my patients would be babies which I would be able to lift and they would be all in the same room so it wouldn't as physically demanding. Plus I plan on working only on the weekends sat and sun 12hr shifts. What do you guys think? Is this a good idea?

I will be applying to an adn nursing program next year and am looking at possibly working in the NICU because it's not as physically demanding. It's important that it's not so physically demanding as I have a mild form of cerbral palsy which affects the coordination of my legs and feet. In my case of cerebral palsy, I am able to walk but not in a coordinately manner to a certain extent; and I do tend to get tired alittle quicker than the average person(physically leg and feet wise); but am able to stand for sufficient amounts of time. I was originally thinking of working in the ER as a nurse but in reality I don't think I would be able to handle it physically because there would be too much running around from room to room and I can't lift and carry regularly sized patients. ** The reason I'm thinking of working in the NICU and or nursery is because all my patients would be babies which I would be able to lift and they would be all in the same room so it wouldn't as physically demanding. Plus I plan on working only on the weekends sat and sun 12hr shifts. What do you guys think? Is this a good idea?
Usually I lurk, but I had to put in my 2 cents here. NICU is physically demanding, not in a lifting heavy people since, but you've got to be quick on your feet. In my unit, the babies are not all in one room, but in pods. Some nights I can span 3 pods. If my baby alarms, I run if it's someone that needs stimulating. Some deliveries we go on are ran to. Like, no time for the elevator, take the stairs and run. Also, I don't know what area you're from, but my area doesn't hire ADNs in NICU. Just some things to think about. Good luck in finding an area you'll fit into!

Hey -lovelovelove thanks for your input I appreciate it! I know that not all NICU departments are the same and things may be done differently. When looking for NICU RN positions I plan on only applying to those where the unit is all on one floor where the babies are all in the same room or if it is more than one floor; I'd make sure that my assigned patients are on the same floor same room.

After I get my Adn I plan getting my BSN for job security as I know many won't hire adn's and oh i'm in tx.

How did you get your job?

NICU is definitely not as physically demanding as other specialties in terms of lifting, but you need to be very coordinated. Would you have any difficulty getting teeny babies in and out of isolettes while juggling multiple wires and vent tubing? You may also be standing for hours and hours during a delivery and while admitting a baby. NICU is no picnic. I think general care nursery would be better for you, if you can find a position in that field.

Well you still have to get through nursing school with mostly adult patients. What if you can't get a job in nicu, that's a very popular area..

NicuGal, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU.

Many units are going to single patient rooms, so you may still be spread out. We are in pods with 6 kids to a room, but for assignment purposes sometimes we are in 3 or 4 rooms. We also go to LD on our floor, but we can be called anywhere in the hospital such as ER or one of the adult ICUs where or mom's can be. No matter where you work, you have to be able to take any assignment and sometimes we can't promise things like you want, especially when you are on orientation.

We also get bigger kids and kids that stay with us for a year, and they are deadweight sometimes, so you concept that we only get teeny kids is off. We get newborns who can weigh up to 12 or 13 pounds and older kids who are over 20.

See how nursing school goes and go from there. NICU jobs can be hard to come by, you may have to work somewhere else to get in the door.

Thanks guys for the reality check you have given me alot to think about and I will most definitely take these things into consideration whether or not I choose to work in the NICU. Based on all this though, I think it would be a better fit for me to work in a nursery. I still have nursing school to go through so only then will I truly know if NICU or nursery or any other speciality is a better fit for me.

**Can anyone elaborate on what it's like to work in a nursery? What can I expect? Duties of a nursery nurse?

You would still be going back and forth to the rooms, since the babies are in and out of the nursery. Not as critical though. Usually just normal labs and teaching for the parents etc.

MistyM

Specializes in Adult Trauma and Neuro ICU, NICU.

Hey

I would of thought an outpatients role would be more suitable for your needs shorter days, tend to be healthier patients not requiring much physical movement. I hope you find where you would like to be a that it suits you tho and I wish u all the luck for your future

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

You also wouldn't be able to control whether or not all your assigned patients would be in one room. It doesn't work like that. Being able to find a job that is just 12 hour Saturday and Sundays will not be that easy either.12 hour shifts are extremely exhausting as well.You may need to get some general experience before you will be able to work in the NICU.Not very many NICUs will hire new grads.

Hey MistyM what do u mean by outpatient's role? What would my duties be in an outpatient role?

MistyM

Specializes in Adult Trauma and Neuro ICU, NICU.

I'm not so sure if it is only the UK that has outpatients then if your unsure what it is. It's basically patient coming in for clinics. I know it's not a job in the NICU but its somewhere to get your feet in and work out if the job is for you, or if you have health visitors where you love that may be a route to take (special nurses who assess newborn babies in the community and ensure they are developing well)

Thanks MistyM; I don't know if outpatient roles exist over here in the US but I will definitely look into it.

** Does anyone have other suggestions as to specialties that might be a good fit for me? I have been considering telephone triage nursing and school nursing but I really would like to work in a specialty that is hospital based; especially to gain experience as I don't think I would be hired to do telephone triage and school nursing without having hospital experience and I want to have that experience to a become better nurse for my patients and better serve them . What do you guys think?

MistyM

Specializes in Adult Trauma and Neuro ICU, NICU.

No problem!

Do you have day surgical wards? Patients come

In for assessment pre surgery and then off to theatres. Either back to the day unit for some obs

And a wee before home or go to an overnight ward?

you'd have to go to quite a bit bigger hospital, but some of them have "step down" nurseries...the babies aren't QUITE as sick, they don't respond to deliveries so no running to that STAT c-section, and most of them are smaller than normal newborn/NICU and in one room or a close-proximity private room situation. otherwise, you could get a job at a clinic that specializes in perinatology or neonatology if you are interested in babies and you find the hospital setting isn't quite the right fit.

I have never worked in the OR and maybe someone who has can chime in here, but would a "surgery tech" type of position work out for you? It sounds lke your only deficit is in the lower extremities and you are able to stand without any difficulty so maybe this is something to look into. I'm assuming that most of the work is standing in pretty much one spot while actually working on the case, I really don't know but might be worth looking into. Also maybe respiratory therapy or psych nursing would be good fits for you.

On the NICU subject, the one I work in hires new grads all the time, four year of course. We also don't all go to deliveries or on transport, those are choices for us if we want to be on those specific teams or not. Also consider that there are level 2 and level 3 patients in the NICU, level 2 being the more stable. As far as running to a bedside, our NICU generally assigns nurses to patients that are within close proximity so I'm not sure getting to the bedside in time would be a problem for you. It all dependes on the layout of the specific unit you work on. Finally, I would think that in your case assignments could be grouped so that your not having to run all over the place.

There are so many opportunities in nursing and health care that I want to encourage you to check them all out. You could also get your nursing degree and a degree in health informatics, or what ever those people who manage all the computer stuff do. Just some food for thought.

Hey nocturnalnurse are "step down" nurseries the same as Well-Baby nursuries? Is there a difference? When applying for a job; are "step down" nurseries usually specified in the job description or do I have to ask around?

** I didn't think that such a position like "step down" nursery existed; where I wouldn't have to respond to deliveries and the babies would be at close proximity. This would work out pretty well for me. It would be great if I could find a position in a "step down" nursery once I graduate. Is it common for "step down" nuseries to hire new grads just out of nursing school?

Hey Shermrn; I also was thinking about having my assignments grouped so I wouldn't have to run all over the place.

** This puts me at ease since I've been told otherwise; that I wouldn't have a say in my assignments. Come to think of it; actually it would be something necessary that would have to be done to accommodate my disability and also to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It's within my right. I don't know why i was so worried about that!!

NicuGal, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU.

Actually if you can't perform the expected duties, and it includes going to deliveries and having to take appropriate assignments, then I believe it is not covered under these. This is something you would have to discuss with HR. You can't realistically ask a unit to disrupt their workflow. We try to accommodate many things with our staff, but their are times when we can't or else it is a burden to others. Just food for thought.

Also, when you are doing your clinicals you will have several patients in different rooms, you can't change that. I don't want to discourage you from nursing, but it seems you have some unrealistic expectations and are thinking to far ahead of yourself. Get they nursing school and go from there.

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