I am a new grad and I am thrilled at the fact that I have been offered a position at a level II/III NICU. I don't have any prior experience in NICU but I do have 2 years expereince (clinical placement) in peads.
I always thought that I would start my NICU career in a large paediatric teaching hospital in my city but when I saw the posting for the position I was offered I figured why not give it a shot? Now I am wondering (if I am offered the position at the teaching hospital) which one should I take?
The first hospial has a labour and delivery unit on site and is known as the high-risk pregnancy hospital. They mostly manage premature babies who tend to stay in the hospital for long periods of time (165 days is not unusual). There is more of a chance to bond with parents and become really involved with the care of the infant. Since its an in-born NICU, there is also the opportunity to attend deliveries. I am very excited about this. The orientation is 8 weeks in class, then 5 shifts on level II and then 2 months in level III. The good thing about this job is that nurses get to work both levels.
The second position at the teaching hospital has its benefits as well. Its a teaching hospital so they are really supportive of new grads and they have an extensive orientation program (6 months). This NICU is a level III/IV that mostly deals with cardiac defects, congenetial anaomolies, genetic defects, and surgeries. The babies can be as premature as 22 weeks and they are flown in from all over the world. The average lenght of stay is 10-12 days and unlike the other unit, there is less of a chance to get close with the family. Overall, the babies on this unit are really, really critical which means lots of stress but great learning opportunities.
So based on this information and all of your expereince, which one is the better choice? Based on your experience is it better to have babies stay for a long time or a shorter period of time? Please let me know that you all think. Your opinions are important to me!
Dec 12, '07
I'd go with the first hospital. Children's hospitals that do all the wierd stuff are a great place to learn and all that, but they don't give you as much of the general experience. If you want to move around to other units and other hospitals, you're better off getting a more "normal" nicu experience.
It's actually what I did when I went into NICU. I've since worked in a Children's hospital and it was enjoyable, but I definitely feel I made the right choice in starting out where I did. That place gave me the foundation to travel with that the Children's hospital wouldn't have.
Last edit by fergus51 on Dec 12, '07