I have spent nearly my entire career in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I have friends in other areas of nursing who say that they can not imagine taking care of such tiny patients, yet I can not imagine working anywhere else. The good days and bad, I take them all. The NICU treats infants born prematurely, with overwhelming infections, or with congenital anomalies. The following is a little insight into the day to day work of the NICU.
Welcome to the NICU:
Where our patients weigh as little as a bottle of Pepsi.
And we celebrate weight gain in grams.
Where a milestone is a good stool.
And 2ml/kg/hour is an acceptable urine output.
Where caffeine is a routine medication.
And we speak in micrograms.
Where we feed in minuscule increments.
And breast milk is gold.
Where we can lift our patient in the palm of one hand.
And turn them in one fell swoop with the other.
Where solariums are in.
And our babies bask in the light.
Where we witness joy.
Where we celebrate the little things.
Because of the uncertainty of tomorrow.
Above all, welcome to a place where we treat and protect all babies as our own. It takes a team of specialized doctors, nurses, nurses’ aids, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, and physical therapists to care for these delicate patients. Thank you all for your devotion to this special population <3