Tools For Survival As A New NICU Nurse - dynamiccuff100's Blog

Compelling Insights

Reviews To Suit Every Single Person

Tools For Survival As A New NICU Nurse

Posted

By Lori Boggan, RN

It has been an amazing 11-year journey working as a neonatal nurse. The journey has taken me across the United States and beyond. Being a nurse has enriched and changed my life in so many ways. For that I am eternally grateful.

I septic tank drainfield still recall my first job. I felt like an impostor in my uniform.

I didn't feel like a nurse because in my mind a nurse was someone who could start an IV blindfolded, resuscitate a patient while sleeping, and recognize all the signs and symptoms of septic shock at the drop of a hat.

Little did I know that there is no perfect nurse. There are nurses who are born skilled, those who are walking encyclopedias, and those who have the kindest hearts.

Combine all this and it's almost like catching a glimpse of big foot, the tooth fairy, or even a leprechaun. With this in mind, the following are just a few recommendations for new nurses in the NICU...

Find your mentor. A mentor is a nurse that takes you under their wing and guides you. It may not be the mentor you were assigned to on your new unit, but you will find him/her. It often happens naturally. You find that nurse that loves to teach and your personalities just click. They are part teacher, part life coach, part parent or sibling, and eventually friend. They are the nurses you aspire to be. I have a trail of them across the globe.

You will be tested.

The doctors will test you, the nurses will test you, the respiratory therapists will test you, and the parents will test you. It's ok. It is normal. You have to prove that you have some clue, which you do! Trust me, you do! And with that, always trust your instincts.

Take care of yourself on your days off.

Use your days off to enjoy your life outside of work. You work in intensive care. You need to find some outlet that has nothing to do with your job. Meet up with your friends, get a massage, run if you run, yoga if you yoga.

Handle with care.

Our tiny patients are so delicate. No matter how stressed or rushed you are, handle them gently. Handle the parents gently. They are in shock and grieving. They need you.

Wash Your Hands.

Hand washing still is the single most important thing you can do for your patients. Patients are still contracting and succumbing to hospital-acquired infections even in our most technologically advanced units. Our tiny patients have little to no immune defense.

Don't Forget.

When new nurses come through the door after you've worked a year or two, remember that you were there not long ago. Welcome them, mentor them, don't talk about them when they leave the room. Be the positive example in your unit.

Welcome to the nursing profession! Best wishes on this exciting journey!

Lori Boggan is a NICU Staff Nurse at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. After becoming a nurse, Lori traveled across the country to work a three-month travel contract in San Francisco, California. Nearly five years later her journey continued to Gothenburg, Sweden, where she now lives and works.

Previously published on AWHONN Connections

Also on HuffPost:

8 Ways To De-Stress In 1 Minute Or Less

Quick Body Scan

To help quiet your mind and boost awareness of the sensations in your body, sit or lie down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Start by drawing your attention to different parts of your physical body, and checking in with how they feel. You can begin at the feet and work your way up to the head, noticing and releasing any tension as you go. A thorough body scan meditation might last around 10 minutes, but you can quickly complete the exercise in a minute or less as a way to bring back your wandering mind to the physical present.

Quick Body Scan

To help quiet your mind and boost awareness of the sensations in your body, sit or lie down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Start by drawing your attention to different parts of your physical body, and checking in with how they feel. You can begin at the feet and work your way up to the head, noticing and releasing any tension as you go. A thorough body scan meditation might last around 10 minutes, but you can quickly complete the exercise in a minute or less as a way to bring back your wandering mind to the physical present.

alamy

image

Email Meditation

Email is one of the biggest Internet stressors, and when we're at our desks dealing with a pile of unread messages and a septic tank yeast growing "follow-up" folder, it's easy to get a little anxious. In the book "Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life," Dr. Lillian septic tank baffles Cheung and Zen master Thich Naht Hahn outline a brief email meditation to practice before you hit the "send" button. Click here for the full instructions.



alamy

image

Listen To Nature Sounds

According to Dr. Kathleen Hall, stress expert and founder of the Mindful Living Network, nature sounds can do wonders to reduce stress. Hall recommends sitting quietly for one to three minutes and listening to the sounds of natural landscapes, like oceans, rainforests or brooks. "There are some great apps that have sounds of whales or birds or cats purring ... It immediately stops the production of stress hormones," Hall tells the Huffington Post.

shutterstock

image

Laugh

Even if it doesn't feel natural at first, making time for a quick laugh -- whether it's by watching a silly animal video or reminding yourself of a funny joke -- can help bust you out of a stressful headspace. Laughter releases endorphins in the brain and relaxes the muscles, according to the Mayo Clinic.

alamy

image

Deep Breathing

Breathly deeply in and out for just one minute can help to refresh your mind and reset your body. Harvard University research in the 1970s conducted by Dr. Herbert Benson found that short periods of meditation that focused on the breath had the power to alter the body's stress responses, activating the "relaxation response." Find a quiet place to sit for one minute, focusing on breathing deeply in and out and letting go of distracting thoughts.

alamy

image

Essential Oils

The part of the brain that processes smells is located in close proximity to that which governs emotion and memory, so scent can be a powerful way to induce pleasant emotions and calm the mind. Essential oils can be particularly effective -- according to a 2008 study published in Holistic Nursing Practice, essential oils actually reduced stress perception in nurses working in intensive care unit settings. Try keeping ylang ylang, peppermint or lavender essential oils at your desk and applying a small amount on the skin when you start feeling stressed.

Shutterstock

image

Neck & Shoulder Massage

Help soothe tense muscles in the neck and shoulders (also known as the "stress triangle") by giving yourself a brief massage. But make sure it's not a mindless massage while staring at the computer -- for the full de-stressing benefits, stop what you're doing and bring mindful awareness to the muscle tension you feel, as well as the release of that tension.

Shutterstock

image

Dance

The free motion and stretching movements of dance can help to release tension from the body and lift your spirits. Exercise in any form can act as a stress reliever by pumping up endorphins, according to the Mayo Clinic, and dancing can be a particularly enjoyable way to blow off steam for many people. Put a favorite song on your headphones, step away from the computer, and let loose for a minute -- it's almost guaranteed to boost your mood.

shutterstock

image

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/awhonn/nicu-nurses_b_7886996.html



Comments (0)

Add Comment
Comments Options
Sort comments by:





blog archive

get in touch

You must login or register in order to get in touch.