So, a lot has been going on these past several weeks, but the highlight has definitely been holding tiny babies. I started working alongside a seasoned nurse (my “preceptor”) on May 31st, and the best way I can think of to describe the experience would be being tossed into the deep end of the pool, not really knowing how to swim, but having an instructor teach you how to swim while you’re floundering. Something like that.
Neonatal nursing isn’t really emphasized in nursing school, at least it wasn’t where I went. And I understand why – it’s a specialty, and it’s not going to apply to many nurses while they’re in school. When we did mother-baby stuff in school, I tried to absorb everything I could, since my goal was to someday work in a NICU, but unfortunately I had to brain dump just about all of it in order to remember other important stuff. When I got a job working with babies, I and my residency cohort came to the realization that nursing school didn’t help much in the way of detailed, specific NICU knowledge, but it did give us the reasoning skills and a basic knowledge of some stuff.
This whole process so far has been strange… definitely a steep learning curve, but I’m enjoying every minute of it!