Friday, April 23, 2010

You Know You Are A NICU Nurse...

Nurses’ week is coming up (as evidenced by an email in my inbox) and I decided that today earns a “nursing related” post. There are many nurses out there, but it’s the units that we work in that make us slightly different from each other. I, myself, work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) taking care of babies born very early, ones with birth defects/anomalies, and infants that have had birth complications. It can be hard at times, but also very rewarding. Working with this specific population however has left me with a few quirks…. Read on. (Much like Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a red neck,” I present you with the list “You might be a NICU nurse…”

You might be a NICU nurse if...

You measure age, not in years, but in weeks and adjusted weeks.

You plan your day in 3 and 4 hour increments.

You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if the phrase, "wow, it is really quiet" is uttered and knock on wood constantly.

You know that ‘Snuggle-up’ is an object, and is not referring to what you do with your boyfriend on the sofa.

Finding poop in a diaper makes you cheer

You recognize that feeding tubes can be time-savers (at appropriate times of course.)

You hear 4 or 5 different types of all-to-familiar beeping in your sleep.

You recognize that taping is an art-form.

The admission of a 24 week patient makes you antsy.

You could describe poop about a dozen different ways…(eg. Meconium, transitional, green, yellow, yellow-seedy, brown…)

You measure weight in grams, and kilos

You know that kangarooing has nothing to do with kangaroos.

You’ve documented the amount of ‘shake’ and 'roar' … Yeah, that’s medical jargon.

You know that “Feeder-Grower” isn’t a description of a lawn care product.

You’ve ever referred to a baby as a ‘glow worm’.

You're sure you could write your own “crazy baby name” book using the names of your patients.

You’ve ever cried at the discharge of a patient, because they felt more like family.

You take pride in making up a “cute” bed for your patient.

You’re patients don’t use a call bell when they need you- instead an orchestra of 3 or more alarms of different tones get your attention.

You’ve witnessed a preemie escape mission…they made it as far as the portholes.

You believe that to refuse a baby a pacifier is cruel and unusual punishment-for both the baby, and you.

You’ve eaten hamburger patties bigger than most of your patients

You don’t understand why talking about putting an IV in a baby’s head is making other people at the dinner table ill.

At one time or another you have had breast milk, poop, urine, or repogle fluid on your work clothes

You have obtained a 20cc residual when the patient only gets 5cc

You put an intensive care patient in a swing

You don’t get excited if your patient has a heart rate of 180

You do chest compressions with two fingers

You draw blood from your patients heel

Newborn babies look like preschoolers to you

You tell people what you do and they think you sit around and rock babies all day.

When you tell people what you really do they start to cry and/or become nauseous

You have met your patient’s father, mother’s boyfriend, and husband all in one day.

You get excited over a baby’s 10 gram weight gain

You truly believe that your patients listen to you when you are calling to them to save themselves because you are busy tending to the other baby. (The only time they act up.)

You have heard the “Love Shack” on a mobile

After baths, you get the fun of giving all your patients Mohawks

You have found that babies pull out tubes better than adults

You walk into your room of a desating patient and have found the nasal cannula in their mouth or at the end of the bed.

1 comment:

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