Thursday, January 31, 2013

the newborn nursery.

A room full of tiny miracles.

Have you ever wondered what happens after you have a baby?
They take the baby, but where does it go?
What are they doing with it?
When will it come back??

I just did my {2 day} clinical rotation through the Newborn Nursery.
In no way does that make me super knowledgeable on what happens in the nursery, but I will tell you what the days were like for me.

On the first day, I got the first baby that came through the nursery doors.
They {the nurse/pediatrician} brought the baby into the nursery followed closely by dad.
Immediately, baby was weighed and measured.

Then, baby was brought to the warmer to be assessed.
Let me tell you, we check that baby out from head to toe!!
Fontanelles, facial symmetry, fingers/toes, abdomen, umbilical cord, genitals, the way they lay, their skin, their reflexes, range of motion in limbs, equal limbs... you get the picture, everything.

I'm learning all this new stuff about babies with the dad standing over my shoulder.
Hooray for dad wanting to be all involved, boo for the sheer awkwardness of being watched while learning new stuff.

Baby's first set of vital signs were taken: temperature, heart rate, respirations, oxygen saturation...
I put the temperature monitor on baby's belly with the gold heart sticker on it for continuous temp and pulse monitoring. {that's what the gold heart sticker is - a temp probe is underneath it}

I wrapped the pulse monitor around baby's itty bitty hand. {SOOOO tiny.}
Gave the baby their 1st medicines: Erythromycin ointment in eyes, Vitamin K shot to vastus lateralis {since baby's gut is sterile and has no bacteria that is needed to make crucial clotting factors} and the Hepatitis B vaccine {1st in a set of 3} in the other vastus lateralis {teeny tiny thigh muscles}.
Baby cried for a minute then was quiet again. {still hurt my heart to give that itty bitty those injections}
OH, and did I mention that dad was still hovering nearby??
MmmmHmmm but it was all good!

We got through it.

I got baby's first foot prints for mom and dad.

After the initial set of vitals, they are monitored every 30 minutes and recorded to keep up with/maintain baby's progress.
You gotta stay on top of these!!
It's kind of a big deal.
What, with this new little life and all.

Then, I guess dad left to go hang out with mom.

Baby was having a bit of trouble regulating her body temperature.
We kept her under the warming unit until she was an appropriate temperature, then it was time for baby's first bath!!
-- I put my goggles ON --
{no one wants someone else's amniotic fluid to fly in their eyes}
Baby was REALLY dirty.
We took baby to the sink, where there were towels and blankets layed out.
Under continuous warm, running water, I got a sponge and wiped off baby's face.
Then, with soap on the sponge, I washed that little body till it was clean and free of birth yuck stuff.
She looked like a completely different baby after that!!

Took more vital signs.
Charted it all in the computer.
Did a Ballard Score  -- those newborn nurses can do this thing So Fast!!
I struggled through it.

Took more vital signs.
Then, baby is supposed to eat something by the end of the 1st 4 hours of life.
I took my swaddled, precious little miracle down the hall to mom and dad and made the first introduction to mom {since she had a c-section and they whisked baby away right after - this happened with my Hailee's birth too}.


What an experience.
What an absolute honor it was to get this baby ready to meet her momma.
To follow her little body through the process of breathing, weighing//measuring, first bath, first diaper change, first feeding, figuring out HOW to suckle, eat, and breathe at the same time...
It all happens so fast.

In between caring for "my baby" {totally what we called our itty bitty patients}, I helped feed, change, cuddle, swaddle, and watch over other little babies in the nursery.
I used an itty bitty little neonatal stethoscope to listen to the fast little heart beats.
There were 12 babies born on the 1st day. 
I think there might have been a full moon or something ;)

Ok, the worst part of my newborn nursery experience was this:
SINCE the flu is spreading like wildfire through our state, we had to wear face masks the entire time we were with the babies.
I did not have a good experience with face masks with my Operating Room rotation - they make me more claustrophobic than anything else in this world.

My overall feeling - I wouldn't want to work in the Newborn Nursery.
Because if that was the only thing I did, Babies would be the only thing I'd know.
I'm still leaning toward working on a medical - surgical floor in a hospital. 
That's your general, random illnesses. 
That is where I would get more and more experience in ALL of my newly acquired nursing skills: catheters, IV's, NG/OG tube insertion, Peg tubes, IV drips, dressing changes/wound care, PICC line care, planning care for patients, teaching... so much stuff that I wouldn't be doing if I worked in the Newborn Nursery.

I'm glad I got to go through that rotation!
I have yet to do my Labor-and-Delivery and Postpartum rotations. 
THAT could be a whole nother story...
We'll just have to see!!
{**I did not take any of these pictures while in the nursery, these are from searching google**}

I don't really like country music, but this song makes me think of all those babies.


  1. Loved L&D and Postpartum. There is just so much going on and so MANY skills there. I agree though baby nursery not so much, I even disliked the NICU... just not enough "difference" for me in the day. I think that is why I like the OR and may end up on a med/surg floor one day... perhaps, that is why, despite loving my job, I still need more!

    1. :) that's awesome!! I'm glad you love it so much!!
      It gives me hope that after all the worried I'm going to make a terminal mistake stuff quiets a little, I will enjoy what I do that much and it won't feel like a job.

  2. It almost makes me sad to read posts like this, and then think of all the girls and women who are carelessly popping out babies these days. If only they would treasure the whole process as much as you do.

    1. it really is a miraculous thing.

      Those perfect little bodies and minds just waiting to be taken care of.

  3. A miraculous, amazing, beautiful thing for sure! This was all so very interesting! I always love hearing about what people do ... but this is truly inspiring!

    1. Truly.

      I cannot even imagine what my labor and delivery rotation is going to be like. I'll probably cry every time I see a baby born!!
      It's such an emotional thing.

  4. Interesting to see what it's like for someone else on the opposite side of the maternity ward! all these pictures of little tiny babies make my heart melt, they're so precious. makes sense that you want to learn as much as you can about different areas of the hospital, when you're done training you can choose whatever field you liked best!

    1. Definitely taking advantage of all the areas we get to experience. I'm still not 100% sure which one I'll choose. I guess I got 3 more months then, it's all or nothing!!

  5. I can't wait to have my L & D rotation! I'm in Med/Surg right now & my best nursing friend is in L & D & he absolutely loves it, while I'm dying on the Ortho floor in Med/Surg. Luckily though we change floors this Tuesday, thank God!! I will be glad to see Med/Surg in a different way.


say it with a smile.

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