Poll: What do you love about the NICU? - page 10

I'm a nursing student with not too much farther to go. (YEAH!). I'm giving serious thought to starting in the NICU post-graduation. From what I have observed, it just seems to be the right fit for... Read More

  1. by   Breezy Girl
    Going into NS, I always said I wanted to work in the NICU. I don't know why. I had experience w/ adult care (ER, MICU, L&D- being a med tech in the military) but no experience w/ neonates at all. I ended gettinga 10 week preceptorship at my last quarter of school in the NICU, and boy... did I LOVE it. I was afraid I wasn't going to like it, but oh my goodness. I don't want to work anywhere else in nursing. I loved going in to work, to see the babies and hold them, and talk to them. Even if they were on HFOV, seeing the little 2 pound babies made me happy.

    I loved the neonatologists we worked with. I loved the nurses I worked with. I loved how it was just a happy atmosphere-- considering. It wasn't as stressful as a Med Surg floor. We had 1-4 pts depending on acuity, and some days I went home absolutely exhausted, but happy nonetheless. Just the look on the parent's faces when I see them adore their child, or when they whisper to me, "please, take care of my baby" does it for me. It makes each moment worth it.

    I'm having a hard time finding a position in a NICU that will take a new nurse, but hopefully, I will find one, cuz like it's said, "Find a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life." And do I love the NICU!
  2. by   shakeitup82
    I absolutely love this thread! I just finished reading every post and it further convinced me that the NICU is where I want to be when I graduate! I'm only a sophomore in a BSN program but I've been addicted to these boards over the past few days and the things I've read on the NICU board have been especially inspiring!
    You are all amazing and I can't wait for the day where I join you all as a NICU nurse.
  3. by   NIGHTWOLF87
    "why do i love the nicu?" hmmmm....where do i begin?

    1) i love it here in the nicu because i can actually be a nurse and care for my patients. here in our nicu, our nurse to patient ratio in level iii is 1:1 or 2, depending on acuity, and in our level ii, it is 3-4. when i started it out as a med/oncology rn, the average patient load for me was around 14 patients. i hardly had time to even remember my patient's names, let alone trying to get to know them a little better. if i saw them for more than 5 minutes, it was a miracle. just time enough to run in give them their meds and head on out to the next patient. now i can actually take the time to really get to know my babies. and you get to see a lot of "mini milestones" in their lives. for the micro premies, we get to see when they first open their eyes. see how they progress from oscillators to room air; see how they also go from gavage feeds to full, nipple feeds. it is very rewarding to get a 23 week baby grow and get to go home.

    2) the next best reason as to why i love the nicu has to be because of the staff. since we are a unique unit, being a "closed" unit, we don't have to worry about a ton of visitors coming and going and crowding the bedside. only parents and grandparents are allowed at the bedside at our nicu, and then only 2 at a time. but my co-workers are awesome! here on nights we really do got each others backs. because when you get a call from l&d for a stat delivery, you know you need your fellow rns to help you out. i can honestly say that i just don't have co-workers in the unit, i actually have "friends." also, the mds and nnps are all very approachable and "nurse friendly." most of the time when they are doing rounds, we get a lot of "what do you think?" as to the next course of action with the infants. and 99% of our suggestions end up with, "ok, we'll try that." the mds and nnps truly take our suggestions seriously and count on us for input as to what to do next with the infant's plan of care. also, on every tuesday morning at around 0730, we have mini inservices provided by the neo and have a general q & a session. plus, we have our clinical educator, along with the neo, pick one patient on the unit, and we go through the infant's chart and discuss what is going on with the baby. very informative.

    3) i love being at c-sections and seeing the babies being born. it is a wonderful feeling transporting the newborns to the transitional nursery and seeing the excitement in the father's or significant other's face. someone once said that "the decision to have children is to forever know that your heart will forever walk outside your body." that is so true. i can vividly remember when my son was born, a 37 weeker (9lb 11oz, vag delivery!), who had to spend 5 days in our nicu due to the fact that my wife had gestational diabetes, and subsequently, my son developed blood glucose problems and jaundice. but to see him now, he is full of life and a typical soon-to-be 3 year old; in to everything, and hearing "daddy, daddy, daddy...." constantly, but i'm not complaining :d

    of course, you have to take the good, with the bad. we have a relatively small unit (our max capacity is 34), and we are short staffed. and there are nights when we get slammed with admissions, stat deliveries, etc. plus, we get to see life begin, and sometimes, end. in my opinion, the hardest part of this job is to prepare the "memory box" for the families who have just lost their little ones. i cannot imagine the pain that they feel right at that moment. i don't know how i would react if i ever lost my son (don't ever want to find out!)

    to sum it all up, i love my job and i love what i do. i would definitely recommend any new grad nurse who doesn't know what field he/she wants to go into, and any seasoned nurse who is looking for a change, to try the nicu. i can guarantee that you won't be disappointed and definitely a rewarding experience.

  4. by   Sweeper933
    I love getting to give parent's opportunities that they never thought they would get with their baby. My primary right now, born at 24 2/7, has had a really rough go at things. Perf, horrible lung disease, NEC... he's a fighter though and is doing awesome now! Anyway... he is finally stable enough for a few bottles a day, and has been doing great with them. Yesterday his Mom got to feed him a bottle for the first time. At the end of it, he had a HUGE wet burp, and got it all over her pants. She was so happy about it!!! It's a "normal baby thing" as she put it...

    I love my job!
  5. by   twinkletoes53
    I have worked in NICU for 29 years now. Approximately 2 years ago, a mother phoned me at home. She had seen my name in the paper and looked me up. Twenty years ago, I was the primary nurse for her daughter, an infant with a massive lung mass, who was hospitalized for over 8 months. Her mom came to visit her every day, but hadn't held her for months.
    And she said to me....I never forgot you. I came in to the NICU one day, and you said that you had a surprise for me. You had me sit in a rocking chair, and gathered up about 5 staff members to assist you. You allowed me to hold me daughter for the first time, intubated, lines, chest tubes and all. I will never forget you, or the compassion you showed by allowing me the gift of holding my baby girl.
    Then very recently I was contacted by the mother of a little boy who was a 24 weeker, and was now 11 years old. He was another one of my primary patients. He had severe ROP, and his parents were told that he would be blind. His mother was a school teacher, and I remember when I came to work that day, his mother was holding him. She took one look at me, and started crying. She said that she'd been waiting for me to come all day. We talked for over an hour, as she cried out her feelings but not ever being able to teach her son about color, or what the sky, the ocean, or the mountains looked like, because he couldn't see them.
    When he was discharged, his mother gave me a framed plaque, which I still have. It said "Friend, You came in just when it seemed like the whole world had gone out."
    We'd been exchanging Christmas cards for years. her son is legally blind, but can see just enough to be able to distinguish colors. Even at age 11, you can tell he'd ben a preemie! But a handsome one.
  6. by   emjay_n
    I enjoyed caring little ones in a cot, sick or well...:wink2:
  7. by   sophie<3
    there haven't been any posts on this thread for awhile but i just wanted to say that i enjoyed reading all of these stories very much. i have wanted to be a NICU nurse for awhile now..for some reason when I think of my job as a REAL nurse I can only see myself with babies or children. i was always afraid that my chances of getting a job in the NICU right out of school were a long shot but now i can see that it is possible and also very rewarding. now i have something to look forward to when i am spending countless hours studying and motivation when i want to quit.i am just starting nursing school next semester and i will be counting down until my dream comes true. thank you all very much for sharing!
  8. by   MyHopeIsUnchanged
    I'm about to start a practicum in the NICU and these posts are so encouraging and heart-warming! thanks!
  9. by   twinkletoes53
    I love the smell of a freshly bathed infant; when you can actually place them in a tub and give them a decent bath. We use J & J baby wash. Then I use a bit of warmed baby lotion where they have no leads or IVs to worry about. The final touch is brushing their hair. One Mom said to me one day; "She smells just like a real baby!" :bby:
  10. by   GivingLove
    This was so great to read! This is the field I have thought about going into. Everyone asks me, what about the babies you see die? I always tell them Yes there will be those cases, but think about all the great reasons for being in the field( ones mentioned above). I see NICU nurses and my heart gets fluttery. Its just something I feel in my heart I so want to do. Im still in my pre reqs at college, but I know this is the field I want to go into. I dont think there is anything else Id rather do.
  11. by   Josette19
    My baby spent her first two weeks of life in the NICU and I totally got the chills reading your message! I felt like I worked there being i would never go home! I now am working on getting into nursing and I hope and pray I will get to work on the NICU floor that is my goal!! So that I can give parents like myself hope for thier new baby!
  12. by   lovemybabes
    I love my job in the NICU for many of the same reasons as most of you. I also love interacting and teaching the parents, well most of them.

    The negative part of the job is sending my babies home to parents that are less than normal. You know these kids are going to have bad outcomes and you can't do anything to prevent it. That's what keeps me up nights!!
  13. by   kimesha101
    I am so happy that I discovered this forum. I am a graduate nurse with a BSN, and will be taking my NCLEX Exam in March. will i be able to get a job as a RN in the NICU without any experience ? Should I start applying to hospitals now or should I wait until I have my license?