I’ve been a nurse since 1978, and at Doernbecher for 15 years. As a “float pool” nurse, I go somewhere new every day; pediatric cancer, mother-baby and the NICU are just some of the units I’ve worked. I was with the triplets from the first through the third days of their lives.
The boys were born at 34 weeks. Part of the shock for a newborn of that age is that he doesn’t have the stamina to suck and swallow to get enough nutrients. I’m also a lactation consultant, and we worked together with the rest of the triplets’ care team to develop a plan to get them to feed.
It’s not just about the babies, though: It’s also about the parents, too. We need to keep all the bonding opportunities open. We work with parents to identify goals and milestones, enable them to do total care and teach them the skills they need. Positive support counters stress and doubt. We’re their cheerleaders.
I would describe my colleagues as highly trained pros. I feel privileged that they let me work with them. The culture of an academic medical center is great; you have support for learning. The whole atmosphere, in fact, is about learning.
I’m the fifth of 11 kids. When you’re in a family that big, you have an attitude of “we’re all in this together.” New families need those kinds of personalities.