What do you do for a living?
I am an RN in a newborn or sometimes called well baby nursery in a large urban hospital.
How would you describe what you do?
I care for well newborns immediately after birth and throughout their hospital stay. I teach the mother and father how to care for their newborn. I also administer antibiotics via IV to newborns that might have become infected with a bacteria through the birth process. I administer other medications as ordered by the attending physician. Further, I assist mothers with breastfeeding. I also assist the OBGYN physician in minor surgical procedures on some newborn males.
What does your work entail?
My work entails attending to the newborn after birth and carrying out doctors orders to ensure the newborn is treated for any problem that might have arisen. I am also responsible for teaching the parents all about their baby.
What’s a typical work week like?
I have my choice of four hour, eight hour or twelve hour shifts. Our hospital self schedules, meaning you enter the hours you want to work into the computer. Generally we get what we want as everyone has different scheduling needs. Sometimes my schedule gets adjusted to meet department staffing needs, but not often. One can expect to work some of the major holidays.
How did you get started?
I lost my job in business when the company I worked for moved to another state. I decided that I did not want that to ever happen again so I enrolled in a nursing program.
What do you like about what you do?
I enjoy the babies. I also enjoy teaching the parents about their newborn. My job usually revolves around the happiest, most joyous time for a family.
What do you dislike?
Mostly I dislike the fact that nurses are not listened to as much as they should be when departmental decisions or changes are being made. I think administrators should get input from nurses more often.
How do you make money/or how are you compensated?
I make $27.50 per hour plus another $4.50 per hour because I work the 3pm to 11pm shift. The extra $4.50 is called shift differential. All totaled I make $32.00 per hour.
How much money do you make?
$32.00 per hour.
How much money do you make starting out?
About $20.00 per hour
What education or skills are needed to do this?
I went to three years of nursing school. Prior to that I took classes at a local university to get the prerequisite college classes completed. The classes were anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry.
What is most challenging about what you do?
Working with teen mothers, some as young as 14 or 15 years old, this is especially true if the young mother has a poor support network. Also, when the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) is in need of additional staff, we occasionally work there as well.
What is most rewarding?
Being a part of such a joyous occasion.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Love the sciences and technology. The job is always evolving. Being computer competent and having the ability to learn new technology quickly is important.
How much time off do you get/take?
We accumulate hours of vacation time called Paid Time Off, we accumulate this time quite easily based on how much we work. Usually the nurses in our department take about 4 weeks off per year.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
That is is easy. People usually say “you are so lucky to get to rock and feed babies all day”. The work is sometimes difficult and certainly fast paced.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
I would like to continue my education, working toward a nurse practitioner license one day.
What else would you like people to know about what you do?
You have to develop a good working relationship with the Labor and Delivery unit nurses, OBGYN physicians, pediatricians, and the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU).