Newborns cry and fuss often. Unfortunately, they cannot help themselves. And did you know that after every 8 seconds a baby is born in the US?
Moreover, not all babies are born in a healthy state. Some are born prematurely, or even worse still with different infections. And WHO reports that premature birth-related complications account for 80% of neonatal deaths. An experienced nurse with special skills is therefore needed to care for these newborn infants.
That’s where a baby nurse comes in; a nurse that takes care of babies. A neonatal nurse practitioner is a baby nurse who cares for newborn babies. They care for all babies whether healthy, born prematurely or ill babies. A baby nurse plays a vital role with the help of other hospital staff.
An NNP cares for the newborn infants all round the clock in the neonatal intensive care unit.
So What Do Neonatal Nurses Do?
Both the NNP and neonatal nurses are registered nurses who concentrate on caring for newborn infants. In addition to working in hospitals, neonatal nurses also find employment as researchers, educators, and consultants.
An NNP works in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The NICU nurses help to keep watch on the health of infants undergoing different medical problems. The medical issues here mostly stem from premature births and congenital defects. The prematurely born infants have lungs that are inadequately developed.
These registered nurses check on the babies and ensure they breathe normally. Where appropriate they conduct neonatal resuscitation at birth. After which the NNP report progress results to the supervisor for an appropriate course of action.
The NICU nursery is equipped with different types of equipment used to care for newborn infants. A neonatal nurse ensures that these pieces of equipment are running smoothly and calibrated. A good example is ensuring the smooth operation of incubators and ventilators.
That is to guarantee the safety of the patients receiving the treatments.
A neonatal intensive care unit physician may prescribe a treatment plan to a patient. It then becomes the duty of a neonatal nurse practitioner to administer the medication. Where necessary the registered nurses assist in the making of the intravenous connection. Also, the NNP nurses administer the vital nutrients to infants.
For every patient, the neonatal nurses note down and maintain the patient’s record. As the treatment progresses, every recorded is then updated accordingly. Also, the neonatal nurses, update and briefs parents on the medical procedures being carried out on their babies.
But Do Neonatal Nurses Deliver Babies?
Registered nurses also tend to babies but mostly at NICU level one nursery. As such, they can also be called as neonatal nurses. On the contrary, Neonatal nurse practitioners care for newborn infants with complex medical issues. The NNPs mostly provide their services in NICU level two and above. Consequently, they undergo in-depth training for their job.
Thus the neonatal nurses (registered nurses) provide valuable services at births. For example, they help to weigh and bathe infants after deliveries. Besides, they also teach new parents valuable insights on breastfeeding. The NNPs then assist to diagnose and spot the health complications present at births.
So as you have seen, baby-nurses play important roles in bringing down neonatal deaths. Right from birth, they care for newborn infants during the early stages of their lives. If you are moved to become an NNP, read on how to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.