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‘Forget what you think you know about babies, this will be different’.

I’ve been a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse since 2010, working for Thornbury Nursing since 2014. I was inspired to become a NICU nurse when my daughter spent a fairly long time in NICU. Because of this, I know what it’s like for the parents of the babies I look after. I like that I am able to relate to mums and dads who are going through a very stressful, overwhelming and scary time. 

My highlights as a NICU nurse

I enjoy the diversity of my job. Every shift is different. Some days I’m caring for a 500-gram baby who requires many infusions and mechanical ventilation, and other days I’m caring for several term babies who are feeding and growing – that’s when I get to have cuddles!  It’s so varied and every shift is unpredictable.

The most memorable moment of my career was waving goodbye to a baby who exceeded everybody’s expectations, after being born incredibly premature.  It still gives me a lump in my throat to picture those lovely parents heading home with their perfect little boy, while he was blissfully unaware, fast asleep in his car seat!

The challenges

It can be very challenging looking after our poorly babies. It is also incredibly heart-breaking supporting parents whose babies sadly do not survive. This can be really tough.

My advice to NICU nurses in training

To anyone thinking about training as a NICU nurse – do it! It is the best job! It can be scary and challenging, but it is massively rewarding. You very rarely finish a shift on your knees, which is how I felt working in adult wards. 

For anyone about to do their first shift, I would say – forget what you think you know about babies, this will be different. 

Why I chose Thornbury Nursing Services

Working agency shifts with Thornbury allows me to pick which units I want to work on. I much prefer to look after intensive care babies and tend to work the majority of my shifts in large level 3 intensive care units. But if I start to feel like I need a change of scenery, I have the flexibility to book shifts on a level 1 unit. It’s nice to be able to pick and choose. 

Thornbury Nursing is the only nursing agency I have worked for. I can depend on getting the number of shifts I want and the call centre staff have always been supportive and helpful. They support me with my revalidation, the flexibility is great, and the pay rates are the best I’ve seen.

By Natalie, Thornbury NICU nurse

If you’re looking to join Thornbury as a NICU nurse, check out our requirements.

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