Picture this: you airing into assignment and grab a affectation at the advanced aperture (because, COVID) and arch up to your unit. You fizz yourself in with your brand because the unit is locked. Central it holds life’s best brittle possessions. Walking inside, the dim lights, accustomed beep of the machines, and hum of ventilators beleaguer you.
Your aboriginal assignment is to accomplish a address on the baby you’ve been accessory for the accomplished three shifts. The tiny babyish is in a bright box, accepted as an isolette, which is advised to actor her mother’s womb. This will be home to the babyish for the abutting few months. This babyish was built-in almost applicable at 23 weeks gestation. Her clear-cut bark glows beneath the lights, and she is almost the admeasurement of your hand. She is covered in tubes and affairs to advice accumulate her alive.
For the abutting twelve hours, your job will be to adviser and appraise every tiny change in this baby’s action and administer all medications, machines, tubes, and affairs to accumulate her alive. This is your job as a Neonatal Accelerated Affliction Nurse, additionally accepted as a NICU nurse.
What is the NICU?
You may accept never heard of the NICU. And if you haven’t, that’s okay! The NICU is a specialized unit in the hospital that cares carefully for ailing bairn babies. NICUs can ambit from Akin 1 to Akin 4. The college the level, the added analytical the newborns tend to be. The higher-level NICUs can affliction for the best circuitous and alarmingly ill newborns in the world.
What Affectionate of Babies Does a NICU Assistant Affliction For?
NICU nurses specialize in the affliction of ailing and alarmingly ill newborns. That agency that we alone affliction for babies from bearing until they are absolved home or transferred to a altered hospital. NICUs rarely acquire babies who accept already gone home. For instance, if your babyish was home and got sick at 5 weeks old, they wouldn’t appear to the NICU but would instead go to a pediatric unit. Some accepted diagnoses apparent in newborns who charge NICU include:
- Prematurity (newborns built-in amid 22-36 weeks)
- Hypoglycemia (low claret sugar)
- Congenital affection defects
- Respiratory ache (difficulty or abridgement of breathing)
- Meconium or aqueous aspiration (getting stool or aqueous trapped in the lungs)
- Birth trauma including asphyxiation (getting “stuck”)
- Low claret pressure
- Issues with the stomach, including gastroschisis
- Feeding difficulty
- IUGR (growth brake during pregnancy)
What Duties Do NICU Nurses Perform?
NICU nurses accept a advanced ambit of duties! Depending on which akin NICU a assistant works in, duties may include:
- Assessing alarmingly ill newborns
- Taking basic signs
- Equipment management
- Handling abundant mechanisms of respiratory and cardiac support, including a nasal cannula, CPAP, ventilators, and ECMO
- Changing, bathing, and agriculture infants
- Handling agriculture tubes including nasogastric, nasojejunal, and gastrostomy tubes (g-tubes)
- Neonatal resuscitation
- Administration of life-saving medications
- Handling intravenous and axial lines
- Scrubbing into surgical procedures and acceptable the doctors
- Attending high-risk deliveries
- Serving as a support for your patient’s parents and families
- Patient advocate
- Running tests and accepting bloodwork
- End of activity affliction of the newborn
There are so abounding added abilities too! Back you are a NICU nurse, in a way, the babyish you are caring for isn’t your alone patient. A ample allotment of actuality a NICU assistant includes accumulation and educating the newborns’ parents and ancestors on their action and cares.
What Certifications Do NICU Nurses Hold?
Not anyone can become a NICU nurse. To become a NICU nurse, you charge access the following:
- Bachelors of Science in Nursing Amount (some hospitals will acquire an accessory of science in nursing degree)
- State Registered Assistant Authorization (must be accountant in the accompaniment of the hospital they are alive for)
- CPR Certification
- Neonatal Resuscitation Certification
Many NICU nurses additionally accept specialty certifications that are geared appear the NICU. For example, a NICU assistant can be certified accurately to affliction for cardiac babies or certified accurately to affliction for “micro-preemies” or babies built-in very, actual small.
What is the Best Allotment of Actuality a NICU Nurse?
Being a NICU assistant is one of the best difficult but advantageous careers in healthcare. We get to see the atomic and best brittle babies action to survive. And we get to comedy a ample allotment in their survival. Abounding NICU nurses will acquaint you that the best allotment of actuality a NICU assistant is the band you actualize with the families. There is no bigger activity than watching a babyish who fought for their activity for bristles months airing out of the NICU doors blessed and healthy!