A neonatal nurse is responsible for caring for the smallest patients in a hospital. Neonatal nurses care for babies after they are born and sometimes help with the labor and delivery of the babies, depending on the department structure of the hospital they are in. Neonatal nurses are care for the most critical newborn babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. The nurses in the neonatal department have various requirements that are expected of them during the course of their job.
Neonatal nurses need to be healthy and in good physical condition. While not exactly a strenuous job, being a neonatal nurse can be demanding. Nurses are on their feet for twelve hours shifts day after day. There is usually little time to sit as most of their shift is making rounds caring for patients. Because of this neonatal nurses must be comfortable standing and walking for long periods of time. There is also some heavy lifting and pulling involved in the job. The patients in the neonatal unit may be small but the machinery and equipment used to treat them can be large and unwieldy. Nurses need to be able to maintain control of the equipment while transporting it from place to place to care for the patient.
While it is necessary for nurses to be in good shape, they also need to be gentle. Their patients are tiny and fragile, having just been in the world for just a few hours sometimes. Neonatal nurses need to be able to administer the tests and medications to their patients without causing them any stress or harm. Additionally, it is important for neonatal nurses to stay as healthy as possible and to not come to work when they are ill. Everyone gets sick but there are things they can do to help stay healthier, like getting flu shots and frequently washing their hands. If the nurse is feeling ill, they should stay home or request duties away from the babies so the germs won’t be passed on to them.
Though it is not a physical requirement, being kind and caring toward the patient’s families is one of the biggest things they can do to be a good nurse for their patient. When a person’s child is in the hospital they are worried and more stressed out than on even their worst day. The nurse should deal with them with kindness and compassion, answering any questions they have and trying to alleviate their anxiety.