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Specialties NICU


HI! Just thought I should take a minute and introduce myself since I posted last night. Just didn't get a chance to make the introduction last night. I have been a NICU nurse for eight years. Took two years off to do PICU, but desparately missed neonatal. There is just nothing else like neonatal as far as I am concerned. When a 23 - 24 weeker wraps their hand around my finger--there is just no other feeling in the world like that! So-this past Feb. came back to NICU, and am now studying for the CCRN neonatal exam. I have worked in three different units. The unit I'm in now is a 50 bed unit-all private rooms. It is quite amazing-I have never seen another unit like this. We even have a couch in each room that pulls out into a bed for a parent to stay. I'm just wondering what some of the other units are like that you all work in, and does anybody else work in a unit with all private rooms? I'm glad to be here and look forward to getting to know some of you--cswain12000:)

Specializes in NICU.

Hi! Welcome to the NICU forum! If you need anything or have trouble finding your way around, please let us know!

Your unit sounds very nice- are all of the babies visible from the outside of each room, or do you have central monitoring to combat that? I think that sounds wonderful, especially for the parents- being able to be present and spend more time with their babies is spectacular, and I wish we did that! In fact, I was just reading an article in the ANN journal that was proposing that every NICU in the future would be similar to that.

My first NICU (last night was my last night! Hooray!) was an open unit- sort of a ward, with no pods or private areas. The hospital didn't offer any rooms for parents, and we had few parents at the bedside because they had no rocking chairs or comfortable chairs for them to sit in, nor did they really have space for them to stay for very long periods of time.

My new unit is set up quite differently, in pods of two infants apiece, with rocking chairs and privacy curtains/sliding glass doors for parents to visit. Still no bedside couches or anything, but it's definitely a more progressive, parent-friendly environment, and I'm eager to experience the difference.

Again, welcome to the boards! We're SO glad to have you. :)



63 Posts

Hi Kristi--Thank you for the warm welcome. I think this forum is great! In our unit the babies are visible from the hall. What we have is a work station between every two rooms and there are windows that look into the rooms so we can see our patients and monitors from the workstation. Our assignments are set up so that we usually have one sicker patient and one more stable, or if they are feeders/growers then we usually have three. Then we have medical cell phones that we program our assigned rooms into and our monitors are programmed into phones, so if we are in one room, and the other baby does something bad, the phone vibrates and alerts us. Also, our monitors have remote view, so when we are in one room, we can also view what the other baby is doing. Then--we are always buddied with another nurse, so we have that nurses pts. programmed into our phone also, so there is always two nurse watching the babies. It sounds complicated and cumbersome, but it wasn't once we got used to it. It all works quite smoothly, and we all love it. We also have three rooms dedicated for twins, and a couple for triplets. Then once multiples are stable we cobed them in one crib. It is great for parents--especially when we are establishing breast feeding, and since we have moved into this unit-we are finding that we have more success with breastfeeding. Also each room has a refrigerator for parents to store breastmilk and food/drinks for themselves. We have two large central freezers for freezing breastmilk. Each room also has its own sink. We have several pumps, so that any mom who needs to pump can sit in her babies room and pump. We just moved into this unit in February, and it is not all completed yet. The second half will be completed in September, and then we will have capacity for 50 - 60 babies. But so far-we all love.


48 Posts

Your unit sounds great.... where do you work in minn??? I live in nh but i was in minneapolis last weekend and i was wondering what kind of childrens services and healthcare there was in minneapolis..


17 Posts

Hi and welcome! My hospital is in the beginning stages of planning a new unit. We have been on numerous site visits to different units. Have lots of ideas. Half of us would like private rooms, the others would like to keep the same format as we have now. We have 5 basically open bays with a total of 32 ICN beds. Very crowded. Very noisey. Weve been given 1 grant. Applied for another. Finally was appropriated some space. Not as much as we wanted but we can make due. We were really hoping to get a giraffe omeda bed for each bedspace. We were very lucky to be allowed to participate in the bed trial/study. Omeda gave us 1 bed for participating plus we bought 1. They are so nice. It is almost like a NICU nurse designed it.

Anyway, would love to hear others thoughts and ideas. What does everyone like/dislike about their unit. If you have just recently redesigned, what do you wish you hadnt done. And what are you very glad you did. It has been 20 years since we have been remodled. We figure it will at least be 20 more years and do not want to make mistakes we cant live with. Thanks


63 Posts

Hi pengland1965--We are trialing isolettes right now. We have already trialed the newestHill-Rom airshields, and right now we are trialing the new Caleo by Draeger. So far we really like that one. And next we will trial the Giraffe by Ohmeda. It has been very exciting to be in this new unit. My favorite part is that it is so much nicer for breastfeeding moms and doing Kangaroo Care. Also-it seems that parents stay for longer visits with their babies. And the space we have is great--160 square feet per baby. Good luck and have fun with the planning of your new unit!!


134 Posts

cswain-which hospital in Mpls. are you at? I live in the Mpls. area, and am planning to become a NICU nurse. I am a first year nursing student. My son was at Children's Mpls., and I know their unit was not like that, but they are planning to remodel. Your unit sounds awesome!


Welcome aboard


21 Posts

where in minneapolis do you live? and what hos do you work at? i live in duluth and am looking to relocate to st paul how is the pay and the benefits? the unit sounds really nice i would love to work in one like that, you know let the parents be alone with there sick babies so they are not always out in the open. and that way they can stay too instead of having to leave, which i know if one of my babies would of ended up in the nicu i would've been there day and night. i graduate in may and am starting to look around. thanks

Specializes in NICU.

Ugh...stay away from the Versalets! I thought these would be wonderful, and there are some good aspects (the convertible from Iso to RW is a great idea, along with the single-baby lamp that is in each one), but if the HOB is raised, you can't get your arms into the portholes! Who designed that?!?

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Wow I give you so much credit for working with babies. I could never do that. I would feel so bad for them. I am starting back on a hem/onc unit after being away from acute care for 10 years.



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