Neonatal nurses are the nurses who take care of newly born children. This is a good career for those who love infants because they take care of born babies after childbirth (1st level), cater to the needs of the ill newborns or those who are premature babies (2nd level) and for the newborns with problems that cannot be treated or cured in the earlier two levels. Neonatal nurses can choose the level in which they wish to work as per one’s inclinations and capabilities.
The job of neonatal nurses consists mainly of their vital contributions in dealing with cases wherein newborn babies have serious problems such as respiratory disorders as well as low weight at birth. They also guide and solve all the queries of the parents of the newborns related to child health and well-being. They have to adapt and act quickly to tackle the difficult situations and have good communication skills and presence of mind which are useful for conveying the right information related to health issues.
An important task for the neonatal nurses is taking primary or general care of the newborns.. Babies with physical problems or ailments need a lot of care, and special efforts need to be taken for their feeding. Hospitals and health care facilities expected them to perform duties such taking the baby’s temperature, changing the baby’s diaper, feeding it milk, giving medicines at the right time in right quantities as prescribed by the doctors. Many times, they teach parents of the newborns to take care of the basic needs and requirements of the baby.
As earlier discussed, level one neonatal nurses look after the babies who are fully fit and healthy after birth whereas the level two and three neonatal nurses are employed for the intermediate and intensive care of the baby.
Level one duty nurses see babies in the wards of the nursery and at the place where their mother is in the hospital. The level two nurses check the health of the babies and feed them. The tasks that are also included in the job are administering IV’s, and supplying oxygen at times of need. Moreover, neonatal nurses working in level three or the intensive care units do the tasks like ensuring proper use of incubators, ventilators and feeding tubes.
On the technical aspects, neonatal nurses, many times, do the task of keeping a record of the health details of all the baby patients which prove to be very useful for doctors and other nurses to view the changes and arrive at conclusions fast. Most of the time, this information is stored online for quick note. In addition, contacting the parents of the baby in times of emergency and sending e-mails to the NICU doctors or the neonatologists are also included in the job profile.
Aside from technical aspects, neonatal nurses are also often expected to providing emotional or mental support for patients parents, especially at times when the need arises for surgeries. In this, informing the parents about their child’s health complications and assuring them of better results can be included in the neonatal nurse job.
To qualify on this profession, a bachelor’s degree in nursing along with 1 year’s experience in working in the neonatal ICU is an essential and critical criteria to become a neonatal nurse. One can definitely become a neonatal nurse practitioner after one works as an RN in the neonatal ICU. Many nurses apply for a Masters program in nursing in a nursing school for in-depth knowledge of the field. It is imperative to note that the neonatal resuscitation provider certification is very essential to work as a neonatal nurse.