Recommendations for Pre-NICU? - page 2
If I am unable to get right into the NICU, what area of nursing would you recommend? L&D, postpartum? I really don't want to go into med/surg...especially because I want to work with... Read More
Jan 15, '03I agree with you too NicuGal. I suppose there are differences in NICUs all over the country. The one I am thinking of was quite large with specific jobs for "Discharge Planner", "Transport Coordinator", "Outreach Education Coordinator", "Assistant Manager", Neonatal Nurse Practitioner", "Clinical Nurse Specialist", and "Manager". The people in these positions actually were required to apply for their position and that was their main focus as opposed to "Bedside Staff RN". The Staff RNs assisted them in small ways by working with these other people but their main job was to be bedside nurses. Some of the positions I mentiion require additional education after an ADN or BSN Degree.
Similar to what it sounds like your NICU does, if our managers and seasoned RNs felt a Staff RN would be a good Charge Nurse, Preceptor, Mentor Program Candidate, or Transport Team Candidate, the Staff RN would be approached and offered the opportunity without having to 'apply' for such a position. If agreeable, and after an appropriate orientation, the Staff RN would find herself scheduled for Charge, Transport, or Preceptor on certain days when the new schedules were made. Every Staff RN had the opportunity to decline any offers and many did. For example, a few of our RNs who declined being Transport Team members did so because they had previous back injuries or terrible nausea when riding in the back of the Moble Trauma Unit or for family reasons felt they could not be available as needed. In our hospital each nurse had to be offered any position above "Basic" Staff RN. We could let it be known that we would like to have one or more of the added responsibilities included in our Staff RN position, but ultimately we had to be officially offered the work. (Not every person who wants to do a certain job actually has what it takes to do so... we had to have at least 2 years experience and preferably charge nurse experience to be a Transport Team Member for example.)
Our "Outreach Education Coordinator" (BSN Preferred) worked mostly with other Outreach Education Coordinators of other large hospitals, physicians and employees of outlying hospitals, and with state government agencies to obtain grants and further the development of a viable and adequate network of hospitals in relation to our Regional Perinatal Center. It is a full time job and no bedside care time is available. Our hospital was a Perinatal Regional Center for critical undelivered Moms as well as babies. Maybe that's why we have that position which is not a Staff RN position.
Same for our "Discharge Planner". (ADN or BSN) Her complete focus is to begin the discharge process for each baby upon admission and to follow each baby each day to keep them on their marks and preparing for discharge constantly so that they wouldn't have to be kept in the hospital longer than is necessary. She is responsible for teaching CPR and First Aid to the parents before discharge, obtaining any equipment the babies will need at home from apnea monitors, to suction equipment, to ventillators. She also worked on scheduling follow-up appointments with specialized physicians and routine follow up care all our preemies receive for at least 2 years after discharge. She makes up each baby's "Baby Book" of teaching sheets and updates them nearly every day. This, as you can see, is a full time job too.
Anyway, I suppose our NICU is simply set up differently than yours. That's all.
Floating for fun and prn profit is a wonderful opportunity for those who want it. Challenging oneself on a daily basis is an excellent thing to do to keep from becoming bored and to be a better nurse each day. Great suggestions for everyone! After all, bedside nurses make up the majority of the nursing profession and we need to be as happy and satisfied as possible when we love the bedside. Which by the way, I choose as my favorite place too.