The Neonatal Nurse

1401 Words 6 Pages
Almost everyone has heard the term NICU. It is a common term heard throughout a hospital, but what does it mean? NICU means neonatal intensive care unit. It is like the intensive care unit, but for neonatal newborns. Neonatal refers to the first twenty-eight days of a child’s life. Therefore, the NICU is an intensive care unit for very young babies who have health problems. These babies have severe life threatening health conditions and need intensive care to become healthy. One of the most important people that take part in the process of helping these babies become healthy are neonatal nurse practitioners. They are the ones who give care to the infants by making sure they are clean, fed, and are making progress to become healthy and leave …show more content…
The neonatal period is generally the period that has the highest death rate (Lee 1). This is greatly due to premature births. The majority of the deaths in premature babies is low birth weight, when the baby weighs less than five and a half pounds (Lee 2). An average baby is born weighing around seven and a half pounds (Lee 2). When babies are born too small and with health conditions, they are sent to the NICU to receive the care they need. In the NICU, the nurse practitioners provide them with technology that allows babies who are twelve to eighteen weeks premature to live and go home healthy. (Lee 3). The care that neonatal nurse practitioners give involves a wide variety of tasks. Some of these tasks includes monitoring equipment such as ventilators and incubators, informing the parents of the infants and educating them about what is going on, performing tests such as blood draws and heart monitors, and providing basic cleaning and feeding to the baby (How2 4). Neonatal nurse practitioners also supervise and manage the progress that the babies make while being in the NICU. While doing this, they see what kind of medicines and treatments work best for them so they can go home healthy (How3 …show more content…
People who choose to become neonatal nurse practitioners need to be fast on their feet, diligent, and have excellent communication skills (How3 11). There is no room for miscommunication because it could cost the life of a newborn. It is also important to not have strong emotional relationships with the patients. They are newborns, mostly preemies, with serious life-threatening health conditions, which means there are chances that the baby will not leave the NICU alive (How3 11). Neonatal nurse practitioners have to be able to withstand stress, be physically fit, be able to undergo large amounts of pressure, and be able to cope with mental and physical fatigue from working long hours (Neonatal Nurse 9). Neonatal nurse practitioners don’t just focus their time and care on the infant. They have to make sure the parents are educated in what is going on with their child and encourage them to take part in their child’s fight to become healthy (What 5). They also guide the parents to cope with the stress that comes with their new addition having health problems and being in the NICU (Neonatal Nurse 2). Looking back at all the jobs and responsibilities that neonatal nurse practitioners have, it is expected that they earn a high salary. They earn an average of one hundred and five thousand, three hundred and twenty five dollars a year (How3 4). Hourly, this adds up to about $45.31

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