You know you're a NICU nurse when...

Specialties NICU


You know you're a NICU nurse when...

1. You've eaten hamburger patties bigger than most of

your patients.

2. You define colors by the color of stool you've

seen - ex. baby poop green/yellow.

3. You don't understand why talking about sticking a

needle in a baby's head is making other people at the

dinner table ill.

4. At one time or another you've had breast milk,

poop, or urine on your work clothes.

5. You have affectionately called a patient Cletus

the fetus, wimpy white boy, troll, or FLK (funny

looking kid) in report.

6. You can change your patient's bed linens with one

hand while holding your patient in the other.

7. You can make an IV arm board out of some 4x4 gauze

and tape.

8. You've almost caught your hair on fire on your

patient's radiant warmer bed.

9. You've used a sock or a piece of tape for a


10. You check out the scalp veins, cap refill, and

fontanels on a friend's new baby.

11. You use a cotton ball to obtain urine samples.

12. You use Saran Wrap to keep your food fresh and

your patients warm.

13. You think all crying babies need Benadryl,

Versed, or intubation.

14. You think the pulse oximeter, CPAP, and those

crappy no sticking leads were created by the devil.

15. You have ever shown a doctor a green residual

while they were eating.

16. You have obtained a 10cc residual when the

patient only gets 1cc.

17. You have put an intensive care patient in a


18. You don't get excited if your patient has a heart

rate of 180.

19. You do chest compressions with two fingers.

20. Most of your meds come in TB or 1cc syringes.

21. You prepare your patient's bath water in a Dixie


22. You draw blood from your patient's heel.

23. You use a rubber band for a tourniquet.

24. You've seen two complexes on the EKG screen and

not been excited - you merely pat your patient on the

butt and it's all good.

25. Newborn babies look like preschoolers to you.

26. You tell people what you do and they think you

sit around and rock babies all day.

27. When you tell people what you REALLY do they

start to cry and/or vomit.

28. You have assisted with surgery on your patient in

their bed and on the unit.

29. You have at one time or another, in the heat of

frustration, threatened to throw your patient in the

trash can or out the window.

30. You have considered using duct tape to hold a

pacifier in a screaming baby's mouth.

31. You have met your patient's father, mother's

boyfriend, and mother's husband all in one day.

32. You have made a mental note that how matter how

stupid people are, they still know how to get their

groove on.

33. And lastly, you know you'r a NICU nurse if you've

read 1-32 and have laughed your fanny off!


6,620 Posts

LOL!!!! I especially love #14!:D

TiffyRN, BSN, PhD

2,315 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Scientist-Research.

My husband and I are both NICU nurses and I thought he was the only one who had ever called one of his patients a "troll" and warned him to never do it in front of his co-workers. I guess I was wrong.

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

#34 When you know the corporate motto: "No fetus will beat us!"

I've had a father come in and visit both his babies and their momma's in one day.:chuckle

Many a time I've assisted in a PICC insertion and felt the top of my head getting hot! :eek:

But my favorite is 12. I think the folks at Reynold's should use that in an ad!:D

Mimi2RN, ASN, RN

1,142 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

#15 made me laugh, as I showed a diaper to our hospitalist last night, and made a comment that the color went well with her salad! Actually, it looked as though tiny bits of broccoli were in it.....and did she still want us to guiac every one? :chuckle


5 Posts

I laughed so hard I cried! How about using gaily decorated panty-liners as diapers? :D


1,104 Posts

Too cute! When I told my husband I would be working in the NICU, his first response was, "Oh, how sweet, you'll just sit around holding babies all day!" Then he thought about it and said, "Oh, I guess you'll have to see a lot of crack babies, too, especially considering the area." So I can totally agree with the comment on when telling others what you do they cry.


77 Posts

AMEN! Esp. #26 and #31!!!!


14 Posts

I totally agree with you on all of these. I have one more to add from my personal experence. I knew I was a NICU nurse when the Dr. told me I had cancer of the uterus and I would have to have all reproductive organs removed, I thought to myself well at least I will not have a sick kid in the NICU. I know that is really bad, but that is one of the thoughts I had:(


11 Posts

LOL those were great. Have you ever said that if your baby didn't hurry up and it he/she was going to be wallpaper. LOL, sometimes it's just frustrating. Thanks for a good laugh!



1 Post

You know you're a NICU nurse when you get excited over a weight gain! :)

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