erinhrn 973 Views
Joined: Aug 16, '12;
Posts: 11 (45% Liked)
; Likes: 11
Whoever said "Don't sweat the small stuff" never worked in a NICU.
I would suggest shadowing in the NICU that you are considering transferring to. That will give you a chance to see if you like that type of nursing and also a chance to meet some of the staff to see if you'd be a good fit. If you like it, transfer as soon as you can.
I started in ICU and loved it, never thought I would leave my unit! But then I had to move to a different state for personal reasons and took a job in ER. I did not like ER at all so I started looking into transferring departments after 6 months. I saw a position open in the NICU (level 3), so I shadowed and immediately fell in love with NICU! It took several months, but I was finally able to transfer to NICU. I was told by one of my preceptors to "forget everything you know about adults". I did not find that to be necessary though. Yes, babies are very different from adults, but I feel that my critical care background helped me immensely. Another nurse started about the same time as me who only had mother/baby experience and I transitioned faster and more easily than her due to my ICU background. Now I have been a NICU nurse for 3 years and can't imagine doing anything else!
Thanks for sharing your experience!! I was wondering, though, how many weeks of orientation do you think I should have prior to working on my own? What helped most with the transition?
We have the baby's band with barcode taped to the isolette or crib. The bands are way too big to put on them and we have never had a problem with scanning/medicating the wrong baby. We have mostly private rooms though, so that cuts down on the chances of mixing up patients.
I worked with adults for 3 years before coming to NICU (2 years in ICU and 1 year in ER). One thing I was told was to "forget everything I knew about adults", but I did not find that to be necessary. I feel like my adult critical care knowledge helped immensely. You do have to realize that babies are not just little adults and be prepared to learn a different way of doing things though. But a lot of your basic knowledge still can apply and of course time management, prioritization, and critical thinking skills are essential in the NICU.
There was another nurse that started in the NICU at the same time I did with 3 years of mother/baby experience. Even though she knew healthy babies already, I still oriented quicker than her and felt somewhat comfortable a lot faster. I believe that this was mostly due to my critical care background.
Now I love NICU and can't imagine going back to adults!
I work in NICU and once took care of a preemie whose mother was 14 and had an 8 month old already. Her mother was pregnant as well.
Try to take STABLE. I took it when I first started in NICU and it really was helpful!
The CNS where I work told me that stopcocks do raise the risk of central line infections so to try and avoid using them. I don't know where she got that information but she usually has research to back up her recommendations.
I love this! I'm a newer NICU nurse (just under a year) and I try so hard to allow the parents to do as much as they can for their baby. It is difficult to balance though between a busy assignment and a baby that is not the most stable. I don't always get it right but I try to go the extra mile when I can. So rewarding to see the look on a Mother's face the first time she gets to hold her baby, and most of the time the baby improves while being held!
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