I, too, am a NICU "graduate" and will begin my first shift as a NICU RN this Sunday at the hospital where I taken care of for 3 months after being born at 26 weeks. The Neonatologist my parents credit for my positive outcome is still the head of the unit. I can barely remember going to "reunions" as a small child and look forward to returning to the "Festival of Life" this December as a graduate AND a staff member. Last week I got the chance to meet the Neonatologist again (since I don't remember meeting him almost 24 years ago...heehee). As soon as he opened his office door I began crying and staring at him blankly. I was there to thank him for all that he did all those years ago; for giving my parents hope after the delivering OB-GYN told them they were "certain to have a dead baby"....alas, though, all I could do was sob and stare. How do you thank someone for something so profound?
One of "my" transport nurses has stayed in close contact with my parents and I ever since my birth. She was always called for milestones and advice. She was ecstatic when I called to tell her I had graduated high school with honors and again when I called to tell her I was beginning nursing school. We now live less than an hour apart and talk much more frequently. She has been a wonderful mentor and cheerleader...
I think I have strayed some from my original point, which of course I can no longer remember :chuckle but I guess what I'd really like to share is to never underestimate the proufound effect that you, no matter what your title/job description, have on your patients' lives. The NICU has been at the core of my being since the day I was born...I am looking forward to continuing that tradition!
Sorry this is sooooooo incredibly long...thanks for reading all this!