Celebrating our NICU nurses and their tiny patients

Did you know that our Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides care for more than 850 patients each year?

To celebrate our team’s incredible work, and in recognition of Thank U NICU Day today, we spoke to Jess about her recent experience in our Butterfly ward with son Jack, and learnt more about one of the nurses who helped care for him.

Jack was born at 31 weeks with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). The hole in Jack’s diaphragm meant that some of his organs were out of place. Just a few days after he was born, Jack needed a number of surgeries to ensure his organs were positioned correctly within his little body.

Throughout Jack’s 120 day hospital stay, the support provided by staff in NICU helped Jess, and dad, Andrew overcome many of the challenges that went along with Jack’s recovery.

“During his stay in Butterfly, Jack had a number of setbacks, from lung infections, to a meningitis scare. It’s true what they say, two steps forward and one step back.”

“We will always be incredibly grateful to all staff at the RCH. When you’re in the hospital every day for 120 days and you’re going through constant ups and downs, it’s wonderful to know everyone is on Jack’s team.”

“I was able to laugh and cry with staff, and I will always remember the incredible support we had during that time. It made every day easier. Now every time I am back in the hospital, I always run into some of our wonderful nurses in Butterfly, and they immediately come up to see us and genuinely get excited to see how Jack is going,” Jess said.

NICU nurse Emily was one of the many staff that contributed to Jack’s care. It was Emily’s competency, as well as her compassion, that made such a huge impact on Jess throughout Jack’s time spent on Butterfly.

“Emily was wonderful. We were confident in her care for Jack and she was a pleasure to be around whilst we sat around all day in Jack’s room. It can be very difficult to leave your child in the hands of others, however when you have fabulous, competent, genuine nurses like Emily, it makes leaving at the end of the day much easier.”
For Emily, caring for patients like Jack is just one of the reasons she began her career in neonatal nursing to begin with.

“Initially, I was unsure what nursing career to pursue, but it was while working as a nurse aid in delivery suite and caesarean theatres while studying, that I found an interest in the neonatal aspect of birth and delivery.”

“I really enjoy the moments of interaction that Butterfly nurses get to experience between a mum, dad and their baby. From giving the first feed of milk, to holding their hand, to the first cuddle. I think we are in a privileged role to be able to see these important moments take place within Butterfly. “

“I was lucky enough to care for Jack the day he arrived on Butterfly ward. He was very fragile, but soon showed us his determination to do things his way. Seeing Jack the day he went home with his proud parents was awesome.”

Although Jess still has a journey to go with little Jack, she says that she will always be grateful for the work our NICU does in caring for the littlest of patients.

“We just can’t thank all the staff in Butterfly enough. We were so lucky to have met so many incredibly professional, skilled, genuine, kind, wonderful people and we know Jack wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the competent care he received while in NICU. We will never forget it.”

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