My Experience in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
My experience in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was very saddening. It was sadder than visiting the adult ICU. The babies were so tiny and seem to be so fragile. Each baby has its own unique story. Some of the babies were as young as 23 weeks gestation at birth. Some had been there a while. The charge nurse walked me through each part of the NICU. She informed me that the NICU was an upper eighty bed unit. At present they had 41 babies. She also showed me the OR suite they have on site in the NICU. She made me aware of the fact that they perform all surgeries there; both inpatient and outpatient. I also had the opportunity to go to the special nursery. There, I watched the nurses nipple feed and gavage feed the babies. I viewed many charts. While viewing the charts, I was able to see the events that occurred during the birthing process. I think it was a great experience to see some of the things that we talk about in theory. For instance, one baby was developing in meconiun stained amniotic fluid and chorioamnionitis. As a result, he was born via emergency cesarean section, on nasal CPAP and has respiratory distress syndrome. I didn’t perform any care for the babies. However, I did get a chance to check the rooting, babinski, plantar, and grasp reflexes on a newborn. I also observed several nurses give the babies baths. I had the opportunity to watch a mother bond with her twins, who were born at 33 weeks. I think the NICU is a very unique and touching place to work.
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