The Human Factor: In the Words of an NICU Nurse:

“I had what some would think of as pretty light assignments but then I also had the time to develop a relationship with the families of these premature babies. When it all shakes out, it comes down to relationship. Ihad the time to make care plans, help Moms learn to breast feed, talk about what concerns the family had, respond to the baby cues about care (wakeful vs sleeping times.) Then things changed and it all became about the money and the use of us as “human resources.” Specialists came in on a schedule and talked about breastfeeding vs taking advantage of “teachable moments” Physical therapy came in on a schedule to do PT or positioning. Developmental care and family care became only lip service. It seemed to be all about the money, all about the budget and how another department could be charged for what I am capable of doing. I have been caring for babies for 20 years; I attend ongoing education; I can ask for help if I see a problem. It kills me to see those “teachable moments” slip by when my schedule is too busy and” there is a specialist with an appointment to deal with the issue.” I have great respect for the specialities but they don’t “know” the baby and the family like I do…I love my job I just wish I was allowed to do it.”

NANN Conference, Orlando, FL

September 2011

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