Apr 122013

“I’m so glad she’s going home. She’s been nothing but an irritation to me!”  -  NICU nurse to her colleague, talking about her tiny patient.

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 April 12, 2013  newborn, NICU  Add comments

  24 Responses to ““I’m So Glad She’s Going Home. She’s Been Nothing But An Irritation To Me!””

  1. This is so awful I don’t even have words. Parents want to be with their baby all the time, but with a baby in the NICU that isn’t always possible. You would hope that the nurses there take as good care of and love your baby like you would in your absence. This is heartbreaking.

  2. It would be bad enough if she was saying this about the mother, but to say this about a baby is just disgusting!

  3. Newborns in need of intensive care can be SO SELFISH! I can’t believe that baby wasn’t thinking of the nurse’s needs.

  4. I don’t even know how such a tiny baby, especially one helpless enough to be in the NICU, can be irritating! Wouldn’t *all* tiny little babies be irritating to you then? And if that’s true, shouldn’t you not be a NICU nurse?

    • My thoughts exactly. Too bad there isn’t some kind of personality test they force nurses to take that can weed out the ones that are anything but 100% kind and nurturing to care for newborns, especially the ones with special needs.

  5. How insensitive! A terrified infant hardwired to crave love, comfort, and nursing that instead is isolated in a plastic box and only picked up to be fed or have a paci shoved in it’s face is not an irritation!

    • Some studies show that what a premie craves is a dark place with less stimulation their brains are not ready to handle the bright lights and loud sounds of our world. They are hardwired at that age for the warmth and feel of being inside their mothers. I was recently reading the studies on the effects of early stimulation on the premature brain, and we are starting to learn it might have detrimental effects as the baby is trying to wire its brain. Nothing to do with the nurse, just something about what premies are wired for.

      • And other studies show that being held stimulates growth hormones and encourages the baby to eat more frequently since the food is right there. There’s an “expert” for every viewpoint. But if the baby has been needy and irritating it obviously doesn’t want to be left alone

        • Goldilocks is right about preemies needing dark and less stimulation. However, full term kids can end up in the NICU as well, and their needs are different. The original baby from the quote may not have been a preemie.

          • That’s true. My youngest sister was born around 41 weeks and was in the NICU for three weeks. She was almost nine pounds. My mom later said that although they were worried about her, it was funny to see what looked like a giant among all these other babies. She did behave very differently, as well.

          • This was also true of my 7.6-lb 39-weeker, who was in NICU with blood aspiration. Even at 7.6 lb, which for my babies is a bit small, she looked like she ate her neighbors… :- I held her pretty much the entire time, except at night when I was sleeping.

      • And the best place tho get this dark, unstimulating environment is in a blanket on it’s mothers chest. Facing inward, away from the bright NICU lights, sound muffled by mum and the blanket, heartbeat close by, just as baby is used to. Monitors and lines can still be attached and baby irenot being an irritation. NICUs can does this from quite early (28 weeks) and babies do much, much better.

        • So would this be set up as a reclining chair next to a cart or wall mount with all the life support/diagnostic equipment on it?

          • Yep. That’s how I did it. It’s a little awkward with all the wires and tubes, but quite doable.

          • Right next to the baby’s bed with Mum / Dad in a recliner. Baby is on all kinds of monitors anyway, so no problems if parent falls asleep with baby while in chair. This can be done for hours at a time, and obs, feeds etc can be done in situ. So much calmer for baby. So much better for mums milk supply. Baby uses way less energy.

          • Isn’t that just Kangaroo care? I have heard about it. I didn’t know how early you could do it.

  6. Well, she’s been nothing but a little miracle to her parents, just like any other baby in this NICU. If you can’t grasp this maybe a career change is in order.

  7. UGH! not ok. someone needs a new job!

  8. Speaking as an NICU parent, I could probably understand if such a sentiment were expressed about a *parent*. I saw several parents during our 65 day stay who seemed to think their own hours long stay in the NICU somehow justified their being complete jerks. Therefore, I imagine the nurses saw more. Most parents were sweet despite the stress, but others were undeniably annoying. Even if the parents are jerks (and being in the NICU isn’t an excuse to jettison manners.), at no point is it OK to call the baby irritating, annoying, etc.

  9. Somebody needs a new job. OP, PLEASE tell me you complained!

  10. My son was admitted to the NICU due to prematurity. He was born at home, but was grunting and we decided to take him in to be sure he got help if he needed it. I’d been checked over in L&D, since they wouldn’t attend to my baby until I was checked over too. I walked down to the NICU to go and see him and he was still in the admitting area, being monitored. I’d only been standing next to him for about 10 minutes, when a nurse at another bassinet said this. Her colleague was standing all the way on the other side of a pretty big NICU and everybody heard her. The other parents, the peds, the midwives and the other nurses. She didn’t seem particularly concerned with people knowing she was glad to see the baby go.

    • Bad enough to say that about any patient is bad, about an infant is unforgivable. In front of other patients parents well, there are no words. I hope she lost her job. I’m sorry you had to hear something like that.

  11. When our daughter was in the NICU, it seemed like the babies who irritated the nurses were the ones who did the best! There are also ways to convey your frustration without bad-mouthing a patient (of any age).

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