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i'm married, and have wonderful sons. I'm "one of those nightshift nurses"! and live in paradise.

spacey's Latest Activity

  1. Wondering if anyone has experience with this organization. Is this an accepted way to document additional experience and education with a legit certification? I can't afford to go into a masters program, and thought this might be a way to continue my education and beef up my credentials. (I already have a specialty certification through NCC) Thoughts? Certification and Education Health Care and Nursing, Counseling | AIHCP
  2. spacey

    Revising of NICU levels

    I've heard changes are coming but am having a hard time finding a site where it's all spelled out clearly. Anyone have a helpful link? Thanks!
  3. spacey

    Communicating with Doctors

    I've been charged to present info to our new hires about communicating with doctors. We've had communication problems, (misunderstandings, dismissive attitudes, lack of responsivness, putting things off to the next shift etc) with our docs for a long time. What things have you done to improve communication and collaboration with the docs? How have you dealt with uncooperative or patronizing docs? Suggestions on how to approach them, key phrases etc would also be helpful! Thanks!
  4. spacey

    dc planner / case mgt - salary vs hourly?

    Hi mdbp38 -- Sadly, right after this posted, we experienced "restructuring" and lots of management positions were eliminated and all new positions were tabled. Now, years later, we are again considering a case manager or navigator role in my area. I'm almost afraid to get my hopes up -- but I am again investigating the two roles and looking to see if what is being planned might be a good fit for me. Did you take the navigator job? What do you think so far?
  5. spacey

    case manager

    Well then it sounds terrible. People have suggested that I might enjoy that position because I enjoy working with the families -- but nothing I can find indicates there would be much of that. We currently don't use case managers so I have no idea what the job would entail. Of course if I pursue it I will ask lots of questions -- but for now I'm just trying to get some general idea of what their expectations might be for such a role.
  6. spacey

    case manager

    Do your NICU's have case managers? -- What sorts of things are they responsible for? Most of what I read about case management seems to apply to insurance companies and involves lots of phone calls! What does it look like inside the NICU?
  7. spacey


    Sad to lose you from NICU world -- I have read your posts here "forever" -- haha -- and have enjoyed the humor and empathy and wisdom. I hope you continue to enjoy your new position! Nothing better than a great boss! :)
  8. spacey

    Having a hard time getting over a baby's death

    In our unit, if a nurse has formed a supportive relationship with the family (and has expressed a willingness to be notified), we will often call them to come in and be there during the death if possible. This is helpful for the nurse and the family. You might mention this option to the manager to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. While death is certainly a very real part of the job, we shouldn't expect people to just take the next assignment and move on as if nothing has happened.... especially if this was an unexpected death or if the nurse had been close to the baby / family. We want to support and encourage that kind of caring... not make it more difficult. As the responder above mentioned, you may also want to seek personal counseling, see a doctor or mental health care provider, speak to your manager or an experienced nurse you trust, or see the hospital chaplain. All these people will have dealt with this response and these feelings previously and should be helpful and empathetic. Have you considered writing a letter to the baby's family? You could say what you liked about the baby, share a memory -- for example you could talk about her eyes, they way they looked deep into yours, like you shared here. Remember to frame everything you say positively -- "she had a way of looking right into my heart"... instead of "she was begging me for help with her eyes"... (of course... I"m sure you realize that!) These families often feel like no one even got a chance to know their child... and to know that someone had a relationship with her, that they knew her personality and cared about her is VERY comforting. Saying "I'm so sorry this happened" -- is ok! Some nurses hesitate to do that, wondering if that expresses some type of responsibility on their behalf or by the hospital -- but you're simply stating that the end result of this situation was very sad and that you are empathizing with the family's pain and loss. I'm sure a note from you would become one of their treasured belongings....and I bet it would go a long way to giving you that sense of closure that you need. Also -- does your hospital have a service where they remember the babies lost each year? We have one and sometimes, especially if the families choose not to attend, a nurse will attend in honor of a special patient. All who have done that have said how meaningful it was to them to participate and to continue to recognize that special relationship. Other things you can do as a memorial to her might help as well.... maybe make a donation in her honor?, Buy a special blanket or mobile for the unit?, Purchase hats or socks for each NICU baby? You could include a tag stating it was in her honor if you'd like... or just know in your heart the reason. Hang in there... find ways to share your feelings, that will help so much! Sending you hugs!
  9. spacey

    mask or flu shot?

    I had to wear a mask last year, as I have always had a sensitivity to the vaccination and absolutely won't take them again. I have a lot of seasonal allergies and a bit of allergic asthma so wearing the mask was very hard to get used to. I work in a NICU so many of my patients are "under glass" in their isolettes... so for those, no mask when working through portholes. Also, no mask while charting or away from bedsides. It was irritating and the "season" got extended by about 2 months from what they had originally said.... but it was doable and I'll be doing it again this year. I didn't get the flu... didn't get sick at all and found myself thinking of the mask as a protection FOR ME! About 1 in 5 of my vaccinated coworkers got sick. What I find INSANE... is that we are an OPEN unit. Parents can bring in as many different people as they want, around the clock, from admission to discharge... and NONE of those people are even asked about vaccination history. If nurses / doctors aren't able to be trusted to stay home when sick and utilize good hand hygiene practices... why trust us at all. The last person to put that baby at risk, in my opinion, would be the nurse. It all feels like a publicity stunt sometimes.
  10. spacey

    MOD family specialist

    Do any of you work in a NICU with a March Of Dimes family support specialist? Is that person an RN? Are they part time or full time? Could you share a bit about what they do? I am curious as they seem to have a variety of roles in different hospitals. Their work seems valuable yet there is only one in my entire state. Do you know if the hospital pays their salary, or MOD? I would love to see more family education and support in our NICU! Any info is appreciated! (and yes, I'm in touch with my local MOD... they have very little info about this at this time but have told me they'll look into it) thanks!
  11. spacey

    families participating in am rounds

    I heard the powers that be were thinking about headphones....and it seemed so weird and awkward....that's part of what prompted me to start the thread. :) I guess that IS how some places handle it.... :/ I am hoping to come up with some alternatives before they make a firm decision! Thanks for the input!
  12. spacey

    families participating in am rounds

    Thank you to all who have shared so far!! It seems like most units have more privacy "built in".... I'd love to hear from someone who has a more old school totally open room design about how they manage. From your comments I think one thing we might need to adjust is the sheer number of people who are participating. We usually have a member of management (at least 1) the nursing coordinator (charge nurse) outcomes coordinator (does immunizations / mst's etc) all of our Neos and NNPs, the medical director, pharmacy, 2-3 residents and frequently a medical student, a SW and frequently a SW intern or student, the RT and then there's usually 3-4 nurses (and usually a student or new-hire) in a level 3 room with 8-9 babies (and if you add in just one parent for just half the babies it brings the total up to over 30 people (not counting the babies!.. haha!) The idea of sending families out until it's their turn is awkward for us as our waiting room is shared with L&D / NBN and is outside the unit (and would require them to scrub in again when it's their turn). We could have them stand in the hallway near the HUC desk, but that hardly seems considerate of their comfort and needs. I'm open to suggestions! I really want us to think this through from the parents' perspective before we try to implement it... and I see the change on the horizon!!!
  13. spacey

    families participating in am rounds

    We are looking to involve families in our a.m. rounds. Our unit mostly has an open layout with bed spaces being in close proximity to one another. We are looking for ways families can participate in rounds while maintaining their privacy. The group that rounds is multidisciplinary and includes up to 20 people at times... so simply speaking very quietly isn't an option. We desperately need some feedback from others who have made this change! Do a large number of parents actually come and participate in this? How do you handle the privacy issue? What do you wish you had known when you were just starting this process? Thanks in advance for any input!!! We are really looking to benefit from other units' experiences!!
  14. spacey

    Cup, syringe and finger feedings - BFHI

    Thanks for the input -- I agree that while the heart of the Baby Friendly designation is admirable -- the complete implementation in a NICU is complicated at best and some might say simply inappropriate. We have concerns about aspiration and the learning curve for the staff. Does anyone have policies they could share? (even if the policy states NO cup or syringe feedings? --- that would actually be helpful as well!!!) Thanks