The other day I arrived on the unit in the morning to discover that one of my little friends needed emergency surgery. Yeah, that was a good start to the morning (worse for my little friend, obviously).
The night shift nurse (who deserves a medal, by the way) noticed that something wasn’t quite right with this kiddo. Even though the signs and symptoms were sort of vague, she knew deep down that something was wrong. The nurse went with her gut and began making calls, firstly to the doctor. After some investigating it was determined that the little one most likely had a perforation – a hole where there shouldn’t be one – either in her stomach or intestines.
Emergency surgery was the next step. A perforation can lead very quickly to infection, which can lead very quickly to infant death. The second that we heard that the kiddo was going to surgery, things leaped into fast-foward. Labs, IV lines, consent forms… oh, and the poor child had to be intubated so that they could breathe during surgery. At our hospital the NICU nurse accompanies the sick kiddo to surgery, so my preceptor and I waited in the OR until the surgical team was finished.
This was the first time that any of my little friends needed surgery. Both myself and my preceptor turned over care of our second kiddo to another nurse so that we could focus on the little one needing surgery. I did feel in over my head, but I was assured that this feeling is expected for new nurses. Last I checked, this sweet child was in stable condition, and I pray that this little darling makes a full recovery.
All in all, quite an eventful day. Just thought y’all would like to know.