neonatal ICU vs. Nursery Nurse

  1. Hello everyone! I'm kind of new to the circuit! Haven't even decided on nursing school yet, but about 80% sure it's what I want to do. Anyways, I have ALWAYS loved working with infants and my choice for a specialty would be either NICU or a newborn Nursery Nurse. I was just interested in hearing your thoughts on the pros and/or cons, (if there are any), of working in either or both specialty.

    Thanks again for your input

  2. Visit ctrayford profile page

    About ctrayford

    Joined: Feb '03; Posts: 16
    chiropractic technician


  3. by   nicudaynurse
    Well one of the main differences are the babies in the NICU are sick and in the newborn nursery they are healthy for the most part.

    You will likely experience less stress in the newborn nursery. You probably won't be able to decide until you get some clinical rotations in nursing school or some observation opportunities in each area.

    Glad to hear you want to be a nurse. We need you. I love nursing and couldn't imagine doing anything else. Good luck!!
  4. by   NICU_Nurse
    I agree. (laughing) Anything else? ;>P Honestly, that's the basic difference. If you have any more questions, please let us know. Welcome to the boards!
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Aug 18, '03
  5. by   ctrayford
    Thank you ladies for you prompt responses! What do you ladies find rewarding about working in the NICU? It's got to be impossible to see so much sickness in such tiny little bodies. I just wonder how you're able to keep all the different meds, tubes, and just EVERYTHING straight! I see those little beings with all of this "equipment" attached to them, and just, would I be good for a position like that?? I consider myself very much a perfectionist, organized, and detail a nutshell, but for balance I also like a lot of smiles, laughter, and goofiness:roll once in a while!
  6. by   NICU_Nurse
    The thing I have been surprised to discover is just how strong those little bodies can be sometimes. I remember being a new nurse and walking onto the unit for the first time, and being just overwhelmed by all the tubes and machines- just a gnarly mess of wires and tubing and vent tubing and I thought, 'Wow, where's the BABY under all that?' It took me a while to be able to go in and see the baby first instead of just the equipment with a baby attached at the end. ;>) The only way I've found to do it is to start with one thing at a time and work from there. Sounds simple enough, right? I start with, say, the vent. Here's the vent. here's the tubing, here it leads to the ETT, etc. Here's IV#1...following the tubing to the IV connection on the catheter port. Here's #2...etc. This takes a few minutes, but I know of no other way to sort that mess out, but it really helps me to stay organized. Being anal is a very good thing in the NICU!! Sometimes it's all about the details. Despite the heartbreak of losing a baby, or d/c'ing a baby and then reading his obit in the paper, there is so much heartwarming love and affection on my unit for these little ones that it's impossible not to just fall in love with the job. For me, anyway. Personally, it's always felt...appropriate? I mean, it's not like adult care, where I've heard nurses complain that despite their best efforts, the patients continue the unhealthy lifestyles that got them there in the first place, which is frustrating and disappointing. These babies had absolutely no control over their conception or their genetics or how they were treated in utero. It's highly rewarding. Plus you get to cuddle babies and speak in high pitched voices without looking crazy, and what other job has that fringe benefit? ;>P
  7. by   ctrayford
    Wow, you really put things in perspective for me Kristi23...Thank-you:spin: This really gives me a lot of encouragement!

    It's kinda funny my situation right sister started at the University of Milwaukee's Nursing program just recently as a freshman. Her interest is the same as mine as far as a specialty of peds., particularly, baby nursing/NICU. On the otherhand, I've already had 4 years of school, and some experience in healthcare, but will more than likely returning to school for the same thing she is in now Make sense? Are love of the "infantkind" is probably the ONLY thing we have in common

    Thank-you again for your inspiring reply
  8. by   nicudaynurse
    Well said Kristi. I agree with what you said. When I first started in the NICU all I could focus on was the tubes, wires, etc.. , but eventually I was able to focus on the baby.

    I have had a lot of people say to me that it must be sad to work in the NICU with all those "sick babies", but in reality it is a happy, positive place. Most of the babies survive and do well.

    Of course there are some that will break your heart. The worse ones are the feeder growers that are doing great and within two or three days they are dead from NEC. Such a shock!!

    The NICU needs organized and perfectionist nurses!!!
  9. by   ctrayford
    Thank-you everyone for such wonderful feedback! I am really looking forward to possibly making even one child's experience in the NICU a positive one!
  10. by   babylog2012
    Hi evrSyone,
    I'm a new member from Germany, working now in switzerland. You may apologize but times my english is not very good. I've been working in NICU for a couple of years now and I just love it. But the best I've done ever is to work abroad: working in Scotland and Australia to see how intubated babies are handled was interesting, suspicous, great, sad, was an experience I'll never ever forget and I would always do it again!!! Now I'm looking for a new idea as I'm studying (in my days off) natural medicne to get the title of a naturopath and I'd love to combine neonatal intensive care with natural medicine. Sounds a bit strange but I'm convinced you can do so much more for a 370g baby in sort of bach flowers, osteopathy e.g. Unfortunately there're not much studies about that but I'm working on it .
  11. by   NICU_Nurse

    I think your English is rather good! I'd love to hear more about your experiences in other countries- perhaps you should start a new thread and tell us about it?

    PS. Welcome to the forum!
  12. by   babylog2012
    I'd love to share my experiences with people from other countries but I don't wanna attack somebody by telling about my good and bad days (let's say I found a few things strange :wink2: ). But I think it would be a good thread!!