Poll: What do you love about the NICU? - page 11

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   Leader25
    It is not so sweet and nice all the time.Lately you have to do more with less= less staff more and sicker patients AND crazier families. You could try your best with your aching swollen feet all day and it is just not good enough!I go home so tired I can not even fall asleep.
    Parents do not even want to buy formula for their infants after discharge,they expect to be given a long term supply.We still float , no aides to stock ,no one to really clean the beds well, you pull out a clean isolette for a new patient and open to find a bunch of dried on stool! So now you have to clean it also.
    Parents are so nasty they yell and threaten, so dysfunctional they do not care about their baby's needs. Alot of them pretend not to speak any english, and steal the hats blankets,shirts ,soap, anything they can get their hands on. I have stomach pains from all the stress of seeing my adminstrators just walk around doing nothing while you sweat trying to take care of everyone's neds,doctors included. Some docsare such ass kissers they will side against the nurses.

    Viva La France !!:heartbeat
  2. by   nurse raven
    I am interested in NICU speciality as well...I started working only about 4-5 months back.. Do i need to have experience in med surge before going for NICU or can i go straight...And is there anyone who works in Surrey NICU who can give me some insight...thanks
  3. by   Saija
    I just want to say that after a year of nursing school I have been feeling so motivated to eventually work in the NICU, but this summer I was working in a really bad ward with bitter nurses and patients that seemed to be so focused on their own misery that they could no longer enjoy life (these were for the most part elderly patients going through rehabilitation before being discharged). I got a bit terrified of working in a place like that, seeing the older nurses who didn't even treat the patients like people anymore. I don't want to become like that! I actually started wondering if being a nurse is for me or if I've made the wrong decision..

    I haven't had the chance yet to visit a pediatric ward at all, and I started to wonder if it is just the same as some of the more miserable wards I have worked at. I kept telling myself it would be different, but never having seen it myself (or hearing from anyone who works there) I was relying on my own imagination.

    Thanks to reading many of the replies to this thread, I've remembered why I wanted to be a nurse in the first place and have new motivation to keep studying hard and eventually get to work in the NICU or a pediatric ward. I've always loved kids and I know I could do the most good working with them and their families. Thank you everyone for reminding me why I am meant to become a nurse! In my third year I get to do an externship in a pediatric ward and I am so excited! Hopefully in my last year I can even extern at the NICU and work there in the summer.

    I know there are downsides, but there are downsides to every job. The important thing is that the good makes up for the bad. I've always thought that the only thing that can help you through losing a patient is knowing that you can save the next one. That is what will make it worth it to me.
    Last edit by Saija on Aug 22, '11
  4. by   dawnebeth
    I've been blessed to work in a great ICN for many years with supportive, good nurses who enjoy what they are doing. That's the key--giving love and support to your fellow nurses. No one can work alone or take all the burden of the job. But if you can help out, give a friendly word, smile when it's a difficult patient and hug the nurse next to you when she's down--this goes a long way to making a good unit, be it neonatal or anywhere else.

    Good luck!
  5. by   hraneeRN
    What I love about the NICU is.....Bonding with the families, relieveing them of some of their fears, teaching families (its exciting to be sort of the expert on everything). I love watching the babies grow and get stonger. I love not having social akward moments (lol) like you may have with adult patients. I love the respect I get from Docs and others when I tell them what I do

    Not so great things are.......well, babies do not hold still very well for assessments and will scream in your ear!..this can make your day a bit frusturating. Poop, poop and more poop! Overbearing/difficult families. contact isolation and a cranky baby. Most of all for me it is heart breaking when a baby cries and cries and you do not know why or what to do and I wish they could tell me if they are in pain.
  6. by   HazelLPN
    I'm retired from nursing now except for a volunteer job a few days a month. Most of my career was spent in adult ICU (later MICU when the unit split). As I approached my 60th birthday, I went into a long semi retirement where I cut back my hours in the MICU to 8 hours a week and started working at the Childrens' hospital in the PICU where acuity and census had been very high that year. I started working in the NICU one day when the PICU was slow and I continued to work shifts there until my retirement from nursing 2 years ago.

    What I appreciated most about the NICU was the size of the patients. They were much easier to manage than adult ICU patients. Turning a large adult can be a challenge for an old lady past her prime, but turning a neonate can be done with a spatula (though I don't recommend it). I also enjoyed working with babies who were figuring out how to live vs taking care of mostly geriatric patients..often times who were getting ready to die.

    What I disliked the most about NICU was a lack of variety that one encounters in an adult ICU or a PICU. This is not to say that NICU nursing is any easier than other types of critical care, but it is much more specialized.It would not have been a good fit for me full time, but I enjoyed being one of their "substitute" nurses.
    Last edit by HazelLPN on Aug 29, '11
  7. by   lvbnme1979
    I love the smell of the NICU. It has a very distinct smell!
  8. by   Bortaz, RN
    Yeah...baby poop is distinct, alright.
  9. by   prmenrs
    True, but it's better than Med-Surg poop!
  10. by   Bortaz, RN
    I've noticed that kids on Pregestimil are particularly reekish.
  11. by   sergel02
    It was nice re-discovering this thread and reading everyone's thoughts. I never thought of NICU before, and thought I would not like it at all, and truth be told, I still don't know. I might know for sure when i do my rotation there in the Spring, but for some reason I'm getting interested in the area. I worry since I never had the "calling" others interested in NICU had, and was never as crazy about babies as others (I still love them, but some folks tell me NICU nurses have to be obsessed with babies, it's their entire job!). The idea of working and helping both the baby and their families sounds amazing though.
  12. by   Mslala808
    Thank you to everyone who responded to this post, and I am forever greatful that the posts have continued over the years. I say "thanks" because I will be entering into an accelerated BSN program this fall and giving up my 6-figure job in federal public health (mind you, I have a husband, 2-year old, and a mortgage)... All to pursue my dream of becoming a NICU nurse.

    Over 30 years ago, my mom visited me in the NICU, and since I was old enough to comprehend that it was me in the NICU picture, in my family's photo album, I have known that NICU nursing is my purpose and vocational calling. Yes, I deviated from the plan these past 17 years, but I am more certain than ever that the NICU is the place for me. Reading your posts gave me chills because you have expressed everything that I have ever dreamt to do and feel. Along with my family photo, I will be bookmarking this post in hopes that others will continue to share because I am sure I'll need the motivation during this next year of nursing school.
    Last edit by Mslala808 on Mar 16, '16 : Reason: Change emoji
  13. by   almostnurse0625
    I've just discovered this thread and have spent the last hour reading through every single post. Cannot thank everyone enough for their incredible insight! I'm a few weeks away from graduating with my BSN and have already interviewed for my dream NICU job. It's all I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember, and is the reason I decided to major in nursing. I'm SO hoping that I'll receive an offer from the hospital I interviewed with, but even if I don't and I have to keep looking, reading all of these posts has reminded me of how worth it this job search process will be!