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Confession of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, with Nicolette Barbera

nbarberaWhat type of nurse are you?

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse

What are your credentials?

Registered nurse

Where do you work?

Plantation General Hospital

Why did you decide to become a nurse? And why did you choose your particular field of nursing?

I became a nurse to help people through what is some of the toughest times in their life. I choose to become a neonatal intensive care nurse because I found joy and love in helping the neonates when they couldn’t do it all themselves. They’re the biggest fighters in the tiniest bodies. They don’t give up and I absolutely love that, regardless of what’s going on in our economy my patients continue to fight for their lives. I get to watch them grow into the strongest infants, teach the parents the up and downs of their premature babies, and monitor their every move and change they present.

Tell us about your field of nursing.

My field of nursing is very precise, skillful, and challenging as many fields of nursing are. Working alongside of the best nurses helps our team through the shift. A typical day in the NICU include initial assessment so you become familiar with the baseline, recovering them from surgery, showing Mom how to breastfeed for the first time, helping mom kangaroo her baby for the first time, assisting in deliveries, and stimulating the ones that have bradycardias and apneic spells.

What do you love about your job?

I love my job and wouldn’t change my field for anything. I love being an advocate for my patients that can’t give their opinion, helping the parents understand the importance of oxygenation, ventilators, monitors, feedings, and preparing them for the discharge. There is no explanation for the feeling I have after we run a code blue and the heart rate and saturations rise.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is having to pinpoint a problem without anyone telling us what hurts. Our first assessment is key, knowing the baseline can help us determine an alternate in assessment. Another challenging area is having a patient pass away, seeing a mother lose her child is devastating.