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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can you tell me what you liked/disliked about your NICU?<br><br>
What would have improved your experience (besides not having to have been there)<br><br>
I hope it's ok to ask this. And thanks for any input.
 

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<a href="http://www.childrensmn.org/Communities/NICU/VideoTheGardenofHope.asp" target="_blank">http://www.childrensmn.org/Communiti...rdenofHope.asp</a><br><br>
this place.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>intorainbowz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9040145"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><a href="http://www.childrensmn.org/Communities/NICU/VideoTheGardenofHope.asp" target="_blank">http://www.childrensmn.org/Communiti...rdenofHope.asp</a><br><br>
this place.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Nothing more to say. OMG that is what a NICU should be IMHO.<br><br>
Molly
 

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It wouldn't take much to improve the NICU we just left. The waiting room needs to be clean, with a tv that works, ice machine with drinking water & a coffeepot. A clean bathroom needs to be provided too. I left that feedback in writing to management.<br>
The only nursing issue we encountered but it was a biggie is how they handled breastmilk and making sure that baby got it and not formula. I put that in writing too.<br><br>
A more liberal visiting policy would be nice. Adult relatives could not visit unless a parent was present. Since we are out of town we can't always be present and it seems unfair that grandma or auntie can't cover in our abscence. They also don't allow siblings under twelve at any time. I understand the need for infection control.<br><br>
We have been moved to a new hospital that does do all of the above and I am really happy about it. Little things can go a long way to making these long hospital stays more tolerable.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>intorainbowz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9040145"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><a href="http://www.childrensmn.org/Communities/NICU/VideoTheGardenofHope.asp" target="_blank">http://www.childrensmn.org/Communiti...rdenofHope.asp</a></div>
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I have never seen anything like that! What a difference that would make.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>momuveight2B</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9041461"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It wouldn't take much to improve the NICU we just left. The waiting room needs to be clean, with a tv that works, ice machine with drinking water & a coffeepot. A clean bathroom needs to be provided too. I left that feedback in writing to management.</div>
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I would have liked to have had a waiting room. The NICU my dd was at had absolutely nothing for parents. There was 1 teeny tiny pump room off the critical care area and that was it.<br><br>
I've never seen anything like the NICU linked above. I wish they were all so nice. The 2 NICUs we were at were both totally overcrowded. The isolettes were so crammed at my dd's NICU they were touching in some areas. 8 babies along 1 wall in a fairly small room really isn't acceptable and I felt bad for the 2 at the ends because they were right next to the hand washing stations which were loud and used frequently. The 2 weeks my dd was in the critical care area she was in a hallway so I couldn't even sit next to her isolette. I was constantly having to move because equipment and babies would come through. Comfortable chairs would have helped as well. There was 1 glider rocker per room and with 3 rooms and 40 babies I think I got to use it twice.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>intorainbowz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9040145"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><a href="http://www.childrensmn.org/Communities/NICU/VideoTheGardenofHope.asp" target="_blank">http://www.childrensmn.org/Communiti...rdenofHope.asp</a><br><br>
this place.</div>
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Wow, that is really nice. My NICU had a lot of those things minus the private phones, computer, and refridgerator. They even had the paging system like that one and a private garden courtyard. It was really nice for a NICU.<br><br>
Here's a link to mine:<br><br><a href="http://caromontbirthplace.org/nicu.htm" target="_blank">http://caromontbirthplace.org/nicu.htm</a>
 

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Honestly I think there's a lot more to a NICU than the facilities. I would much rather be in a crappy building and have awesome staff than a beautiful state of the art building with nurses who don't like what they're doing.<br><br>
I don't really care about the fancy accomodations and it doesn't matter to me if there are private rooms. Having other children I actually prefer not to have private rooms because I feel obligated to stay 24/7 whenever it's possible and that's not fair to my other children.<br><br>
I would like a more open visiting policy where shift change is a short 30min. I can respect that the NICU needs to close but ours closed for 1.5-2hrs 4x a day for shift changes.<br><br>
I appreciate it when all of the medical professionals included me in the planning and care taking, not just feeding, etc but in actual medical care decisions. I am very outspoken though so it was rare that I wasn't included.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>intorainbowz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9040145"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><a href="http://www.childrensmn.org/Communities/NICU/VideoTheGardenofHope.asp" target="_blank">http://www.childrensmn.org/Communiti...rdenofHope.asp</a><br><br>
this place.</div>
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Wow! I bet that place is expensive!<br><br>
I'd have liked private rooms, but then by the same token I also liked the comradery of having other women in my special care room to talk to. The biggest thing I would have liked to be done differently is to have the parents lounge area cleaned more frequently seeing as the visitors seemed unable to clean up after themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess I should have been more specific (though seeing beautifully decked out units is cool)<br><br>
I'm wanting to know what I, as your baby's bedside nurse, can do to better support you.<br><br>
Don't have much control over the facilities unfortunately.<br><br>
I liked what Le Bec said about comraderie. Our unit is pretty tight, space wise, but I see parents bond and form lasting friendships. And that's about the only benefit or being cramped.
 

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To my mind, the best thing you can do as a nurse is to listen to what the parents wish and be supportive our of decisions. Most of our nurses were great, they were really supportive of the things I wanted to do and helped me do it (bottle feeding EBM instead of breast feeding). We did have one nurse who all but flat out refused to "let" me give Erin a bottle, but by and large they all wanted to help us get home as quickly as possible.<br><br>
Now that I'm thinking of it, one thing that I really would have liked our Special Care nurses to do was to listen on rounds. They rarely did which was really frustrating seeing as they were usually our only port of call in regard to getting information on what the plan was to get us home.
 

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I loved our NICU. We were able to bathe, feed, change Aja whenever we wanted. She had sleep apnea and they taught dh and I how to stop the monitors, hook and unhook her, etc. The staff were very helpful and understanding in allowing us to care for her.We were lucky to get a spare hospital room to stay close to her and they would call us in our room when she woke up so we could go feed her, etc. Also there was no time limit to how long you could be there...the only time where visitors weren't allowed was when it was time for shift change. For confidentiality reasons no one except staff could be inthe rooms...understandable!
 

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* Please understand that while a full term 7lb baby with nothing more than suspected sepsis might seem huge and healthy to you, first time parents see a tiny, sick little baby and are terrified.<br>
* Please don't disregard a mother's instructions that her baby is to be exclusively breast fed and give bottled formula.<br>
* Please don't roll your eyes at a mother who is trying her best to breasfeed and having difficulty.<br>
* Please don't tell parents that they don't 'need' to stay at their baby's bedside because she is just sleeping.<br>
* Please don't give pacifiers without parental consent.<br><br>
OK, that's my list. That is just what I remember as being the worst of our NICU stay.
 

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Overall, I would have only changed one of the nurses. She didnt like having to mess with all of his wires so she prefered that I only held him once a day! yea.<br><br>
I have also heard that some NICU's have 24 hour cameras so that you can sign in on the internet at home and check on your baby. I would have LOOOOVED that as my biggest fear was that he was crying while I wasnt there.
 

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There isn't much I had issue with at our NICU. I think that primary care is key, especially with the micropreemies. My daughter had 7 nurses on her team and they knew everything about her. It was rare that we had someone other than a primary caring for her and that made a world of difference. Having nurses care about your baby as if it's their own makes leaving the NICU so much easier. Having our primaries call me on their off days to see how dd was doing made me feel that much more secure with them caring for her. Being asked what I wanted done made me feel included in her care. Little things like our nurse who made a card for dd on Easter and brought her a red white and blue bow for dd to wear on her hat were so special. Taking time to get to know the family is extremely important I think. Understanding what their form of parenting is and doing what you can to respect that in your care for their child.
 

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We had, in general, a great NICU experience.<br><br>
I had brief run-ins with a couple of nurses. One was older and just a tad bossy, but once I stood up to her she backed off. She WAS incredibly kind in helping me get my babe (who had a chest tube and couldn't be moved/jostled much) back on the breast ASAP.<br><br>
The other nurse - well, thankfully she was not on rotation in my DD's nursery. She was on the floor the day my kids came to visit - including my VERY clingy, upset, and still-nursing 2-yo, who did not understand why mama had been away from home for so many days. He immediately demanded to be picked up. I was feeling OK, and knew that he would scream bloody murder if I refused, so I held him. This nurse followed me around - bitching at me to put my toddler down, that I shouldn't be carrying him, that I NEEDED to sit down and have someone else hold him. I finally hissed at her that what I NEEDED was for her to please back off and mind her own business. Still right on my heels, she continued to argue that I shouldn't be picking him up, and clucked about "new mothers" who won't listen to nurses. Finally, a sympathetic nurse got her to leave me alone.<br><br>
All in all though, our nurses were awesome. They taught me how to bottlefeed & change DD without disturbing her chest tube, let me hold DD still while they drew blood from her head, and had someone fetch me a stool so that I could easily reach DD (she was in a warming bed, rather than an enclosed isolette). They encouraged me to do everything I could to care for DD, and it was the nurses who badgered the doctor to let me stay with DD while they removed her chest tube. (They allowed it.) They strongly encouraged every mother to breastfeed - I never saw one baby in that NICU receive formula (heck, I never even saw any formula, period!), and the pumping room was always humming with activity.<br><br>
Kudos to you, OP. It takes a very special kind of person to be a NICU nurse!
 

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If it's not possible/realistic to provide a large private room for each infant, at the very least a small cubicle or some type of room separator to provide noise and light control, and a modicum of privacy for visits. Ever since I read an article about how loud the incubator door sounds to the baby when it's shut, I shudder whenever I see it. Also, a policy that encourages and respects breastfeeding. Those things should be the bare minimum.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BugMacGee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9049486"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess I should have been more specific (though seeing beautifully decked out units is cool)<br><br>
I'm wanting to know what I, as your baby's bedside nurse, can do to better support you.<br><br>
Don't have much control over the facilities unfortunately.<br><br>
I liked what Le Bec said about comraderie. Our unit is pretty tight, space wise, but I see parents bond and form lasting friendships. And that's about the only benefit or being cramped.</div>
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We had grea facilites and great care ( I can honestly say that I liked 95% of the people there... I guess it's impossible to like 100% of all people 100% of the time) and have maintained frendships with families and nurses. The hardest thing I went through was with the newbie nurses and residents. Never say to a NICU mom "oh, that's never happened before." DH and I heard that enough that we complained to the nurse manager.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bri276</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9079095"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If it's not possible/realistic to provide a large private room for each infant, at the very least a small cubicle or some type of room separator to provide noise and light control, and a modicum of privacy for visits. Ever since I read an article about how loud the incubator door sounds to the baby when it's shut, I shudder whenever I see it. Also, a policy that encourages and respects breastfeeding. Those things should be the bare minimum.</div>
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Our Nicu had seperate cubical like areas for each baby. They also put up privacy screens for nursing. But the nicu is fairly new, opened in 10/06.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">* Please don't tell parents that they don't 'need' to stay at their baby's bedside because she is just sleeping.</td>
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yeahthat!!<br><br>
My child was intially only meant to be there a couple of hours for observation. It would have been nice to have had a "how to" of NICU once that plan was changed - or even to be told by someone specific rather than an offhand - "oh it will be at least a week!" from a random nurse.<br><br>
Seriously though, no one even told my DH and I that the sinks work with the floor pedals, and when we were caught washing in the ones with knobs - we were laughed at "Ha ha, those brand new parents or a NICU baby have been here 4 days and are using the "dirty sinks"! Very compasionate NICU staff!
 
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