Getting into the Field of Neonatal Nursing
If you are looking forward to a rewarding experience as a nurse, you may want to consider neonatal nursing on top of your list. Neonatal nursing is a career that has many benefits. However, the biggest among all these benefits is the chance of taking care of the most innocent and cutest clients in the entire field of nursing. What is sweeter than to be with someone who is dependent on your knowledge and skills to grow, become a happy and healthy individual in the near future? This is what makes neonatal nursing so special among all the others.
Neonatal Nursing – Overview
Neonatal nursing means to take care of newborns that are in their first 28 days of their life. If you are in the field of neonatal nursing, you will be specially trained to deal with clients in this age group. Clients may include premature babies, or some could already be in full term but are still too sick to go home right away. This is the reason why that although it is a privilege to be assigned in a neonatal nursing ward, it also seems to be great challenge and responsibility at the same time.
Neonatal Nursing – Working Conditions
Basically, there are three levels of health care units in neonatal nursing. The first, which is somehow becoming non-existent nowadays, is Level I. This is because of the reason that mothers and babies have typically shorter hospital stay than before. The next is Level II wherein neonatal nursing care is directed towards premature newborns or those that are suffering from specific illnesses. This level of neonatal nursing care requires high skills and knowledge on the administration of supplemental oxygen, IV therapy and antibiotics and feedings through tube. The last but definitely not the least unit of neonatal nursing care is Level III. This area of neonatal nursing is otherwise called Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU. Most of the time, babies found in this area are those with born with genetic defects or neonates that are caught between a life and death situation. In this unit of neonatal nursing care, you can find high technology equipment and gadgets for better client-centered care.
Neonatal Nursing – Qualifications
So how does one get involved in neonatal nursing? Above anything else, it is very important that you know that you have to be a registered nurse before you work in a neonatal nursing unit. A person is required to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing, take a licensure examination and then pass it. This is basically the first in the process of getting into the specialty of neonatal nursing. After which, other qualifications may vary from one institution to another. Some others would require continuing education and a few would find you a certification that you are indeed fitting to work in the neonatal nursing unit.
The moment you have been certified, you can now work in a neonatal nursing transport team. This includes taking part of a team that transports very sick newborns from one facility to another where the desired and well deserved level of neonatal nursing care is given to them.
Neonatal Nursing – Requirements
Being assigned to the area of neonatal nursing is quite a challenge. It isn’t as simple as you think. Despite the fact that you are dealing with these passive, little neonates, you are very much expected to be equipped with certain knowledge, skills and even attitude that makes you well deserving to be a part of the neonatal nursing care institution. To be a neonatal nurse, one must have honed their problem solving, decision making and critical thinking skills. When you get yourself involved in neonatal nursing, you should prepare yourself with the possibilities of staying calm in cases of emergency. You must also bring to work with you your communication skills since not only would you dealing with the babies, but also to the stressed and affected family members and significant others. Like any other nursing areas, neonatal nursing is also a holistic approach of client care which includes the family.
Neonatal nursing may sound so simple but the truth is, one must work hard to get into this area. Given the fact that neonatal nursing involves taking care of one of the most vulnerable human beings on earth, this is quite definitely a hard responsibility to assume.
Neonatal Nursing in a Deeper Perspective
To give you a clearer picture on what it is like to be involved in neonatal nursing, think about this: You are like a mother taking care of your own children. Neonatal nursing does not only need the knowledge and the skills, but also love and passion towards babies. Basically, you will be taking care of 1-4 babies in a neonatal nursing care unit which ofcourse varies on the census of admissions to the unit. Inside the neonatal nursing care room, you will be expected to operate high technology machines, administer medications and monitor the newborn’s vital signs. You have to keep your senses quick and open to all forms of communication and signals your client may be giving you. What are these? These could be skin color, facial grimace, cry, breathing and so on and so forth. This is how neonatal nursing looks like in the deeper scope.
Now if you are thinking how hard it is to be in the field of neonatal nursing, you may change your mind if you get an idea of how much the salary would be. After some research and inquiries on how much neonatal nurses earn, I’ve stumbled over a breath taking range of salary. Neonatal nursing allows an individual to earn $56,000 up to as much as $190,000 annually. This ofcourse depends on the degree of responsibilities, experience and location where you practice neonatal nursing.
However, if you look into a deeper scope, neonatal nursing is not just about the fortune and amount of money you earn. It is more of how much you have done to save people’s lives, most especially, the life of an innocent human being. That, in my opinion, is what makes neonatal nursing very special as compared to other fields of specialization.
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