@2 years ago with 54 notes
#NICU #neonatal #intensive #care #newborn #baby #medical #methadone #addiction #withdrawal #premature #nursing #nursing student #birth #crazy nursing students... pot brownies? wtf? #babies!
today i got to spend my day in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). it was the BEST clinical experience i have by far and such a valuable learning experience.
it was a slow day but the patients i helped with and the staff i worked with made it go by quick. there was a methadone addicted baby because of her mother’s own addiction while she was in utero, a premature baby with severe intracranial pressure (ICP) from COMPLETE absence of white matter and cerebrospinal fluid increase and pressure (her head was significantly larger than her body), few small for gestation age babies (SGA) with very low birth weights, two sets of twins (!), and many babies that were simply born prematurely (>37 weeks). each baby in the NICU were so uniquely special.
i helped gravity and bottle feed, check vitals, and changed many stinky diapers! one of my little guys had a severe bum rash but he was such a man about it. No fussing, no crying, no wining from a bleeding raw bum! such a pleasure to care for even though my heart went out for him. i also cuddled with the methadone addicted baby girl. she would tremble severely from withdrawal as she was slowly being weaned from methadone. holding her tight and rocking her was the only way to keep that little one calm. having that quiet time with her made me realize how emotional and satisfying working in the NICU is.
i truly want another opportunity to be in the NICU to help and care for these fragile newborns who simply need an extra push to help start their life. and having each precious baby grasp my finger in response to the palmar grasp reflex just made me so happy…!
the nurses in the NICU are amazing. they have told me stories about newborns with spina bifida (neural tube exposure) and gastroschisis (defective abdominal wall causing organs to be spilled out of body), about a labouring mother who coded (cardiac arrest) from a pulmonary embolism with the baby halfway out of the vagina, about suicidal nursing students (who were on the job), and about nursing students who wanted to “celebrate” their last shift of clinical by sharing pot brownies (while also on shift… crazy i know).
all in all, the staff and the patients make NICU such a lovely place to work in. there’s so much knowledge to be learned and so much love to share with all the babies. those NICU babies are such troopers. it makes me wonder why i worry about my trivial problems while these little ones have much bigger problems to deal with…