NICU-RNs, Helping Parents & “Little Ones” Transition to Life Outside NICU—From One Nurse’s Perspective
As week three ends for #NICUAwarenessMonth, we honor the work and efforts of so many NICU-RNs by sharing the work of UCHealth Memorial Hospital’s, “pediatric and neonatal expertise provided by Children’s Colorado.” The efforts of the Colorado Springs based neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are “an extension of the world-class neonatal experts and their achievements at Children’s Hospital Colorado” in Aurora. As “a nationally recognized NICU for more than 40 years,” Children’s Hospital Colorado continues to provide the best in patient care for the best patient outcomes. An accomplishment achieved through the specialty work and expertise of registered nurses (RNs), like Kristina—a NICU Bedside Nurse. She works with families and babies in NICU at UCHealth’s Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado – USA.
The work Kristina and that of other NICU-RNs is critically import to reducing infant death and reducing pain and suffering. Kristina’s work as a bedside nurse provides preemies, whom she lovingly refers to as the “little ones,” with a two fold process. She provides not only critical care needs to preemies and sick babies in NICU. She helps parents through a the process of a family-centered care (FCC) model. A model designed as a collaborative effort between NICU-staff and parents. Working together to develop the best healthcare plan for their baby’s care needs. Moreover, FCC can vary from one hospital NICU to the next. So, in an effort to standardize the UCHealth care model for NICUs, discussions for developing a Family Integrated Care (FICare) model have begun. FICare seeks not only to improve upon collaborative efforts but makes the parents part of the baby’s care team.
In doing so, providers of “little ones” at UCHealth’s Memorial Hospital-NICU hope to continue events aimed at staying connected with families and their “little ones.” For Kristina, one family’s story holds special meaning. After working with this family and their daughter—born at 490 grams, slightly more than 1 pound—for six months in NICU; Kristina had the pleasure to see that family one year later at the annual NICU-family reunion. Kristina recalled how far that “little one” had come in just one year. Wearing glasses, walking, smiling, and having caught up with her peers in height and weight. Just like Kristina, many RNs and parents of preemies, couldn’t be more grateful. For a positive transition to life outside NICU.
A common reflection of what many RNs experience while interacting with parents and “little ones” is a sense of gratitude that comes from the very heart of RNs. The RNs who work long shifts to ensure PICC lines are flushed, incubators are comfortable & warm, and parents are able to perform Kangaroo Care with confidence and assurance. All in an effort to make that critical last step homeward. So, if you know someone, or meet someone, who is a NICU-RN, be certain to thank them. Thank them for all the love, kindness, and expertise they will give to more than 15 million families this year. Families with a prematurely born infant(s). For, if it were not for NICU-RNs, where would our world be today.
It’s with great honor and great gratitude that Beibamboo thanks Kristina and all NICU-RNs around the globe for fighting the good fight for the “little ones” that might not be with their families today, if it were not for NICU-RNs!
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