First thoughts on the NICU

Well, I can’t deny that I love my new job in a level III NICU. Compared to med-surg it’s  quiet, peaceful, calm. We leave work on time. My patients are snuggly and adorable. Their families are inquisitive and ready to learn. It’s a whole new world for me.

There’s a light in parents’ eyes when they discover something new about their baby. And I get to take part in that process – it’s quite an honor. In the past 2 months I’ve snuggled babies recovering from drug withdrawal – some of it imposed by the hospital and treatment, others imposed by moms not making great choices. I’ve worked with babies on ventilators, babies being cooled after traumatic birth injuries.  I’ve had babies with tragic chromosomal diagnoses, and babies with other defects that were fully and lovingly accepted by amazing parents.

In all of it I’ve learned so much, and I’m so happy to have this amazing job that I love! In retrospect, I have also seen with great clarity the difference between a magnet hospital and a non-magnet hospital. Without going into the details of it, I’ll just say that if I had a choice, I’d pick a magnet hospital any day of the week.  If only the re was a magnet hospital with a level III NICU in my area.

My current non-Magnet hospital is slick and polished with great marketing. It’s listed as one of the best places to work, but I’m finding that those lists are not as accurate as they profess to be. It’s slick and polished, with all the right catch phrases. My 5-time magnet hospital got shared governance right. Nurses were professionals, hands down. I miss that environment. But still, I wouldn’t trade my NICU for the world.


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