Let's vent about the good


Lately, with extremely high acuity and short staffing, it is sometimes tough to sit back and remember why we do what we do.

I've seen so many posts venting, and we all certainly need to do that. But I'd like to hear about all of those moments that made you cry happy tears and remember why you do what you do every day for these babies. I'll start:

It has been a crazy few months in my level IV NICU, and today I was feeling exhausted. Then, parents poked their heads out to say "I am so sorry to bother you, but would you mind taking a father's day picture of us?"

They felt terrible for "bothering" me, meanwhile it was the highlight of my day to see a baby who has gone through the ringer and will be on his way out (miraculously) in such beautiful pictures with his amazing family. I was so honored to be a part of something that seems so simple.

I cried a few happy tears and have been so happy since I left work.

What is your bright spot working in the NICU?

adventure_rn, BSN

1 Article; 1,547 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

Not sure if it's my favorite, but I had a recent cheerful moment. We had a term NAS kid, over a month old, living on the unit, and mom was unable to visit. He practically lived in the arms of the volunteer cuddlers. One of the cuddlers in particular spent a lot of time with him; when the cuddler came in that morning, I handed the baby to him and instantly this huge smile spread across the baby's face. He just seemed so excited to see his friend! That little moment made my week.

I still get so excited about being with families for a baby's 'firsts,' like first outfit, first bath, first skin to skin. Even in the hospital, you get to be a part of these little moments of joy that these families will remember forever. Same goes for joining families in their 'happy dance' as you walk a chronic kid who has lived on the units for several months out the door and into the world. There's nothing else like it.


412 Posts

Found myself almost getting teary when I asked a dad if he wanted to hold for the first time the other day. Simple thing that we see all the time of course, but it must of just been his reaction when I put the baby on his chest that got me.


1 Article; 24 Posts

I LOVE that you posted this because, you're right, it's easy to get caught up in the chaos and forget why we do this. I had a moment just yesterday that reminded me why I love my job. I was taking care of a 35-weeker who had just been born the previous evening. Parents had an older boy who had been a 28-weeker in another NICU. When parents visited for the first time in the morning I told them that the baby had been able to come off of CPAP to NC, that mom could hold him, and that he would be able to start trying to breastfeed. They were both so happy (mom started crying) and just couldn't believe how different this was from their previous stay when they had to wait days to even hold their son. Then the dad saw the little card we made for Father's Day that had the baby's footprints on it and he started crying too.

This just reaffirmed why I love what I do and was such a needed reminder on a busy day with poor staffing!

Specializes in ICU, Home Health and Hospice. Has 8 years experience.

Thank you to all the posters, these are all beautiful reasons why the NICU can be an amazing place to work! Keep them coming!

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

I was surprised to see that such a positive topic got so few comments. Then I noticed that it was pretty NICU-focused. I don't want to hijack your thread, but would you consider opening it up to other specialties?

babyNP., APRN

1,921 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 15 years experience.
I was surprised to see that such a positive topic got so few comments. Then I noticed that it was pretty NICU-focused. I don't want to hijack your thread, but would you consider opening it up to other specialties?

Might be good to start another thread in the new "general nursing" forum (since this is in the NICU forum and would be odd to have other specialties thrown in).

Okay I will bite. I had a preterm baby awhile back born via urgent c-section due to newly onset severe maternal pre-eclampsia that turned out to also have mom starting to abrupt which they found during the section.

Baby was beautiful and I was updating dad while the nurses were admitting the baby and he told me their story- that his wife said she was doing fine but had a lot of headaches that day. She didn't want to go in, but he told her that she really should and took her to see her OB.

I took dad upstairs back to mom who was recovering post-op, gave them the update, and told her that her husband saved her life and her baby's life. "You've got a great husband there." "I know," she said with tears in her eyes as she took his hand in hers and the dad had tears running down his face.

At that point I couldn't care less that it was 2am, on hour 17 of a 24 hour shift, needing to get up in 3 hours to pre-round on all the babies. It's a privilege, doing what we do.

Has 9 years experience.

Bought something off an online classifieds site the other day, and when I met with the woman I was buying it from, she looked very familiar. She looked at me for a moment and declared, "Do you remember me? You were my daughter's nurse." The light bulb came on immediately. It was the mom of one of the babies I had for several weeks in a row. She rolled down the window of her car so I could see how big her daughter had gotten. Looking at the kid, you would have never known she was a preemie!