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Nurses are known to be flexible as they care for different persons from different walks of life. Some nurses are trained in the operating room, while others gain experience in the emergency or acute care setting. Some would care for the elderly and critically ill adults, some in the long-term care setting. There are also nurses who are trained to deal with and provide care for delicate little humans or newborns.
The early stage of a human’s life is known as the neonatal stage. We simply called them neonates or newborns. When a mother is about to give birth, she is surrounded and supported by a special health care team dedicated to administering care to a pregnant woman beginning from pre-conception up until post-partum. While giving birth is a natural and delightful experience, it may sometimes be accompanied by complications. Some mothers luckily give birth to a healthy baby or babies (in the case of multiple births), while some unexpectedly encounter birth complications or newborn complications, such as premature birth, birth defects, an infection, cardiac malformation, conditions that require surgery, multiple births, and a lot more complex conditions that would need special and intermediate or advanced intervention. Because giving birth does not end when the baby is born, we need specially-trained nurses who are capable of providing care to our precious newborns, in whatever condition they may be in. These nurses are called Neonatal Nurses and they work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU.
Neonatal nurses must be an RN and pass the NCLEX-RN before they can apply and practice nursing in a hospital where there is a neonatal setting. A neonatal nurse has many responsibilities and these responsibilities will require the nurse to have years of experience dealing with critically ill neonates. Their job can be pretty tough as they provide care to delicate little humans, it can also be emotional and stressful at times. Not only do they need to be medically-equipped and knowledgeable, but they also have to deal with families and help alleviate their anxieties, while also informing them of the best or sometimes, even the worst possibilities that may happen. These delicate little humans need experienced hands for them to thrive. In addition to that, these babies also need to feel that they are loved and valued because just as much as adults, newborns also have emotions, and the feeling that they are well taken care of can contribute a lot to their recovery.
Neonatal nurses are essential in our health care system, as their excellent care helps medically-challenged neonates to survive. Being a neonatal nurse is very rewarding, knowing that you have been in the life of a human being from day one until the day they thrive and were sent home to their families. For aspiring nurses who would love to care for infants and help them reach their optimum level of health, neonatal nursing is the right career path for you!
-Written by Rosirene Rendar