Sunday, July 25, 2010
A day in the NICU
This term, I am in an OB clinical as well as med-surg. For our OB rotation we are at UCI medical center and it is GORGEOUS to say the least! Have you seen the "Grey's Anatomy" episode where they find the Dermatology unit and are so in awe of how peaceful it is? Well, the lobby of UCI is identical to it. I want to take a magazine on my day off, grab a latte, and just relax. During OB clinical, we spend each day in a different unit. I started out in the NICU with my friend Vanessa. I fell in love at first visit.
NICU is like walking into a whole different world of medicine. It is highly specialized and an average nurse cannot float to the unit. Everything is small. I know, sounds funny, but I am used to dealing with "large" tubes, large people, and a completely different environment. At first glance, it seems to be a room full or tubes and machines that are so foreign but when taking a closer look they all start to make sense.
I had a fantastic nurse, Jen, to work with. She was a great teacher and thought out loud the whole day so I would learn. I wasn't able to do much but she kept me as involved as possible. We had two babies for the day and she did an assessment on one, than had me do the other. We gave meds, changed diapers, fed through a bottle and oral gavage, and loved those lil premis.
My niece, Zoey, was in the NICU when she was born. While she wasn't as critical as most of the babies there, I did get a feel for the unit at the time and I remember loving it than as well.
I really fell in love with the NICU. My heart tells me that working in pediatric oncology is where I am supposed to be but I've never been in the unit, so I realy have no idea what it is like. However, should that not end up being in the Lord's plan for my nursing career, I pray that a door into the NICU would open up because I think I could make a huge difference there. My cousin, Rochelle, and I had a long talk about nursing, the NICU, and oncology. She is one of few who doesn't think I'm crazy when I say oncology is my passion, instead she replies with " I totally see you there." We were talking about how in the NICU and Onc units you become a huge part of the patient's stories because you build relationships and you don't just see them one day to have them discharged the next. I think that is one of the big reasons nursing is for me. I want that relationship with my patient's. I want to be their advocates, their teacher, a counselor to them or to the family, a listening ear, smile, or gentle touch, and a caregiver. I'm not sure where I will end up next February, but I am very excited to step into this role.