older babies in level 3

Specialties NICU


Hi, just wanted to know if any of you like it when your assignment is a former micro preemie or term baby that is now "chronic" and still in the nicu (level 3 and level 2 is all in one unit) and you have to "play" with them all your shift. I don't mind sometimes, but if it was never my primary or is just a babe hanging out for gut issues or just waiting for someone to say G tube and go home (yes, I know the parents never visit or they are young or whatever...get DCFS involved) but staying in a large level 3 NICU for months...a year.... I feel like an expensive babysitter sometimes. Because as it seems, no one wants these kids. Had a bad previous shift? Yea, I will take playtime once in a while. Just curious if anyone else feels frustrated with these assignments? And, yes I do take HFOV, etc. so it's not my skill level.....:)

ahh we've got two "geriatrics" right now haha, both 10 months old, both 26wkrs, both with pulmonary hypertension, trach, one with a g-tube and sprinting on her trach nose, hopefully going to be headed out soon...her mom though has the room DECKED! toys, games, even a stroller even though she can't leave her room, mom is always in there with her playing, she is so developmentally appropriate and has many many primaries who I believe like to get the chance to play with her. The other one...well her mom would have her headed in the same direction of the other one if she could, and she often is there playing with her, the problem with this kiddo though is she still has her frequent unstable episodes and most of us believe one of these days shes just going to up and die during one of her moms play sessions :-( But can we stop it? Not really, if shes awake her mom is waving things around in her face, bouncing her on her lap, shes got pretty bad 3/4 pulmonary veins stenosed, she spent literally the whole 2 months before she got her trach coding, however if her mom is not around we are typically not playing with her, the poor kid just sleeps and sleeps whenever she gets the chance

Specializes in NICU Level III.

I haaaate playing with the big kids. Now the bigger fresher kids, yes, they are okay, but not the chronics.

Specializes in NICU.

I agree, hanging out with the chronic kids is not my thing. They're prone to what we affectionately call "NICU psychosis" (I wonder if this is a widespread term) -- that complete inconsolability and need for constant attention, often coupled for some reason with a really odd cry. I don't blame them -- heck, I sometimes start feeling that psychosis after just 12 hours in the unit :rolleyes: -- but yeah, not my favorite assignment ever.

Specializes in L&D, Hospice.

stupid question but why are those "geriatrics" (kinda cute term) not in peds????

Specializes in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy.

Oooooh, I'll do it!!1

I'm a volunteer in pediatric long term care... still can't find anyone that will PAY me to do it though.

stupid question but why are those "geriatrics" (kinda cute term) not in peds????

Once in the nicu always in the nicu, I have spoken to a few nurses where I work since I've only been here a year, kids never get tx to picu, if they are d/c and readmitted and no longer nicu material (over 3moos) they will go to picu but kids never tx from nicu to picu...we just celebrated a first birthday last week...

Specializes in NICU, adult med-tele.

I get what you mean about being an expensive babysitter. Sometimes they can be cranky little things too. We let them watch movies. :o

Yes! What would we do without movies? Of course when you come home with Sponge Bob Square Pants voice ringing in your head it is much worse than even hearing the alarms at home! Mom picked out Sponge Bob, he wouldn't have been my choice!! Those chronics are the best and worst of the job in my opinion. When they are fun they are lots of fun, but when they're bad they're awful!!!

I get what you mean about being an expensive babysitter. Sometimes they can be cranky little things too. We let them watch movies. :o

Movies?! Yipes! I work in a private room unit and not even the parents get to watch tv!

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