I guess what's what happens when you work a shift at DH (staying up for 24h d/t class the next morning) and then turn right around and do 4 clinical shifts in 5 days. I'm also working nights right now so trying to get my body to readjust is sort of a pain in the butt. Sleeping during the day isn't too difficult but it isn't easy. My body really will only sleep for a few hours at a time. Therefore, I'm a tidge exhausted.
This has been quite the week!! I introduced myself into the NICU, and all it's unique needs, and newness of working with infants. And in four short shifts, worked my way up to caring for 2 lower acuity babes.
Like I said, P/SL was gracious enough to allow me into their graduate NICU, which is part of the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children @ P/SL.
I like to call it the med/surg of NICU's. The babies are stable but are chronically sick. That means after the critical care aspect has been stabilized, they are sent up to the graduate NICU where they remain for quite awhile until they are able to go home. Down in Level III is more like the ED/SICU of the NICU. The graduate NICU is like the MICU/med-surg floors. The babies are adorable and acuity can be low to high. The babies need a lot of support either way. They range from "grower-feeders" to those that are on the cusp of possibly crumping without constant assessment and surveillance.
My time has been amazing. I worked my way up to caring for two of the babies on my own, with the support of my preceptor Tami, who is a wonderfully sweet woman, who has patience with all my questions and nervousness.
There is one baby I absolutely fell in love with. He had a very rough start to his entrance in this world. But over the four shifts I had with him, he captured my heart. He's a tiny little thing, though for his gestation he is normal. I guess I'm just not used to working with such tiny ones. He has this hair that just spikes all over the place. He has these incredibly dark eyes, and such personality. He is calm and mainly quiet, very patient as you work with him most of the time. He just stares up at you and roots around for his hands, or simply just lays and stares at you. If you face him towards the wall, he gives you this "Are you serious right now?" sort-of look. When you feed him, he doesn't have a blank stare. His dark eyes piercingly and quizzically look at you the whole time. While burping, he enjoys the time sitting up and relishes in being fully supported.
I'm not someone who has a desire to have kids anytime soon. But he could totally convince me to have children. Only if they were exactly like him. Despite all he's been through (the roughest start to life) he was the champ in the room, coming off of oxygen, feeding every other cares time, and maintaining really well.
These next two shifts we will move to a room that has a higher acuity, and I will continue to care for two babies. I might even take over caring for three babies on thursday ;-)
Until then, here's a little hello from the graduate NICU (night shift of course)!