Dear NICU New Grads
By Gabriel C. Hutson, MN
NANN Footprints: Stories from the NICU January 2022
Dear New Grad,
Welcome to the NICU! We’ve both had to work hard to get here... well, in different ways. You had to make it through nursing school, and, well, I had to make it through a meconium aspiration. Anyway, I am so glad that you are here. I think we are going to be great friends because we actually have a lot in common. Besides having to fight and work hard to get on this unit, we both have a lot to learn while we are here. I have to learn how to keep myself warm and get off CPAP. You, well, you are having to learn how to draw labs from my heel. That’s okay though. I’m glad we get to learn together!
Another thing we have in common is that we have good days and bad days. My bad days may be because I brady a lot when I eat, and you might have a bad day because you may feel that you are not good enough to be a NICU nurse. While I can’t control what my heart does when I eat, you can control what your mind does when you’re working. Some days we will smile together, other days we will cry together. No matter what, remember that we are both here for a reason, and we are both going to get through this period in our lives.
While I am learning to coordinate suck, swallow, breathe, I want you to just... breathe. You are going to be an amazing NICU nurse. Now, can you heat my milk up? It’s been three hours since I ate, and this heart-to-heart has made me hungry.
- Your First NICU Patient