About Me

My photo
Phoenix, Arizona
Growing up my initials were OP, which was pretty cool in the 80's, right? Then I got married and my initials got updated to match our very texting obsessed era that we now live in (and shake our heads at)...OMG. For those who are texting illiterate, I'll spell it out..."Oh, My God!". I pity the girl whose initials are W.T.F. (I won't spell that one out. You can Google it or email me for an explaination on that one!)



This is where I was last weekend. Well, this isn't EXACTLY where I was but it looks pretty much the same. I found the following photos online since I don't think it's allowed for me to take pictures in the hospital.

Saying I went to the NICU is one thing but actually SHOWING you what the NICU is like, is what I really want to relay.

So when I tell you how completely amazing it is....you can kinda get an idea of what I mean by....AMAZING.

I am finally doing my LONG awaited 90 hour preceptorship at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph's Hospital. I was there last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (for a total of 36 hours). Getting up at 5am was a bit rough but the thought of being with these babies kept me going.
I got to do and see so much. I started feeling like a real RN.
What did you get to do, Olivia?
I'm glad you asked!
These little guys get a full assessment every 4 or 6 hours. That means writing down 4 different temps, listening to lung and bowel sounds, suctioning their mouths and down their tube if they are on a ventilator, measuring their head, belly and whatever extremity their IV line is on. They get turned to prevent the pancake head that premies are known for, and a diaper change (don't forget to weigh it!). I did lots of medication calculations and gave lots of IV meds and fluids. I put down a feeding tube (orally) and hooked up the breast milk or formula they get via a pump system. Some babies can only tolerate 1/2 cc over an hour! Tiny. Everything is tiny. I did computer charting (very, very detailed assessment of everything a baby does and looks like). I monitored their heart and breathing monitors (especially the babies on ventilators) and reviewed their labs to find out how well their lungs were functioning.
These babies are so sick that there is not alot of holding and feeding going on. I did get the sweet opportunity to feed and hold 2 different babies so that was a treat!
Did I mention staring at tiny fingers and toes and sweet baby expressions all day long?
I know, best job in the world, right!?
I only thought I was obsessed with the NICU before I started, now I know I am.
Unfortunately, there are not many job openings in this area since the economy has really affected all areas of healthcare. Fortunately, I already have a job that I love so I'm in a good place to just keep working and waiting for that perfect opportunity to show itself....in due time...or, as in the premie world...maybe sooner than expected!

1 comment:

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

Wow! Sounds like an awesome weekend! Regular babies impress me as being so tiny, I can only imagine what this would be like. My smallest was 6'3", pretty tiny but I'm quite sure that is "big" compared to the little ones you saw. It must be heartbreaking when the sick ones don't make it though!