This is why

There are days that are absolutely awful in the NICU.  Heart-wrenching days that make you want to crawl in a hole. But we celebrate the little moments, and that’s what redeems it all. Yesterday was one of those days.

I worked with Baby G. for two days in a row, parents were there all day loving on him. Mom was super friendly, dad never smiled – not once. He was one of those tall, muscular guys with lots of tattoos, and given his non-smiley-ness he was a bit intimidating.  In the afternoon of the 2nd day mom was pumping and it was time to change Baby G.’s diaper. Here’s how the conversation went:

Dad, you ready to change this diaper?

–Nope. Too many wires and tubes.

Oh, sorry. I phrased that as a question. I’m not actually giving you a choice. You can do this, and I’ll help.

–Nope, not doing it. He’s too little.

(big smile) Oh, dad, I’m afraid people just don’t say no to me. Here ya go (hands diaper over)

Sure enough, dad changed the diaper.  After he closed the diaper he looked up at me with pure wonder in his eyes. “You did it, dad.”
“I did, didn’t I?”

A simple moment, perhaps, but the feeling of accomplishment, of parenting, will last.


Overreact much?

Cute little patient in the NICU. Mom’s basically your typical first-time mom, wide-eyed, scared, excited all at once.  Dad is an MD who works in the hospital. In this hospital.  He knows what can go wrong. And therefore he tries to will all the bad away.  Day 6 in the NICU he asks for a mask because he has a tickle in his throat – doesn’t want to spread germs to his newborn.  We provide one, and remind him Continue reading

How is he?

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-1-50-42-pmI never realized how subjective that question really is. Recently I took care of a sweet boy with trisomy 13.  Mom called again and again, looking for updates that would give her some indication of what she can hope for.  He’s already made it past a month of life, defying the very few odds available as guidance.  Continue reading

2 citation tools you absolutely need

Grad school anyone? The papers, the discussion boards, the citations!!! – Input partial titles into search box, it returns formatted APA citations for what you need. Save or copy/paste. Free!

Zotero – browser plug-in, online availability, and desktop version.  Save pdfs, tag your findings, create notes, and best of all – it formats your in-text citations and references for your bibliography. With a Word plugin it features that beautiful cite-while-you-write feature.  Free! (If you need more than 20 MB storage you can upgrade to premium for a reasonable annual fee)


That interview question: “Tell me about yourself.”

Often interviews start off with this question, and your answer will set the tone for the interview.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of the easy answer – the basics.  I’ve been a nurse for xx years. I like to cook.  I graduated at the top of my class.  But that’s not what the interviewer wants.  They’re giving you an open floor to tell them why you’re the best candidate.  Continue reading

5 ways to be a great nurse

nursing-ecards-funniest1. Ask your co-workers if they need help. It’s easy to get caught up in your own assignment, and of course there will be days when all you can do is keep your head above water. But if you’re not drowning, check in with your coworkers. And when you ask them if they need anything, they’ll respect you for it. They’ll appreciate you. And they’ll be that much more likely to offer their own help when you need it.

Continue reading

Safe Sleep starts early

Safe sleep needs to start long before we thought.  In the NICU. At 32 weeks, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Once a baby is moved from an isolette to an open crib, the head of bed should be flat, no blankets, no positioners, and no side-lying or tummy sleep.  Back to sleep every time, starting at 32 weeks.  It’s going to take a lot of education and prodding to steer unit culture that way. myproject-1