In the NICU there are always busy days, that’s just an accepted fact. But last night I learned a whole new meaning to the phrase “Hit the ground running”…
My shift starts at 2300 (11pm), and so I usually get to work around 2245 (10:45pm) or earlier. The other night I got to work at 2245, and had barely hung up my coat before the charge nurse for that night came up to me and said, “Hannah, you’re getting a new admit being brought in right now; go clock in early and get report on your other baby so you’ll be ready when the transport team gets up here.”
After a brief moment of internal panic as I scrubbed in (3 minute up-to-the-elbows scrub/wash) I hurried to my baby’s room. Thankfully I had cared for this first little munchkin the previous night, so report took all of one minute, tops. I had barely sat down and started planning out my night when – promptly at 2301 – the transport team comes around the corner with my new little friend. And to top it all off, the baby was immediately placed on contact precautions (for reasons I won’t state because of HIPAA), which meant that no one could enter the room without first putting on an isolation gown and gloves, which is quite a hassle. Oh joy. (Can you smell the sarcasm with that exclamation?)
Since I’m still pretty new, I haven’t really admitted a baby before. I’ve watched/assisted other nurses on a few occasions, but this was my first true admit. Thankfully there were a couple of other nurses who stayed to help, even with seemingly little things like charting for me while I did my admit assessment (not allowed to touch computer then touch baby because of cross-contamination, making admissions tricky.
This new little friend had a lot of things working against him at birth, and I am glad that he was in the right place to help him get back on track. After that first night I was reassigned to different babies, and then when I came back from my weekend, he was gone (discharged, I was told). I hope he is well.
Side note: I wish there were a way for NICU nurses to follow up with the babies after discharge. I wanna know how my babies turn out!