Despite the lovely task of cuddling and celebrating new babies, neonatal nurses face a tough job, and one woman has written a powerful message to show just how physically and emotionally challenging the role can be.
Brittany Denise shared the image below on her Facebook page to help shed light on how hard neonatal nurses work, and the heartbreak they have to often deal with too. In the picture, Brittany can be seen cradling a baby boy, but it’s not until further down in the post that she reveals the little one had passed away just moments earlier.
‘Most everyone knows I am a nurse! A NICU Nurse. Many people think this means feeding and rocking babies, which occasionally I get the privilege to do… But my job entails so much more,’ Brittany writes in her Facebook post.
She then goes on to detail just how many tasks her role covers, explaining, ‘I take care of babies born months too early to live without modern medicine…Placed on ventilators with central lines and life saving medications. I assess them, care for them, draw labs, start IVs, and give medications.
‘I teach a new dad how to change his fragile baby’s diaper for the first time. I place this baby on their moms chest (often with many tubes and wires attached) after she has not yet been able to hold them for days, sometimes weeks.’
‘I witness miracles. I get to see little lives come back and beat insurmountable odds. But sometimes I don’t,’ Brittany writes.
The nurse then goes on to explain the hardest bit of her job, shedding light on how difficult her role is when she’s faced with loss and grief.
‘I beat myself up trying to think what we could have done better or different when all medical options have been exhausted.
‘I hand those sweet little lives to their parents as they take their last breaths…I hug their family members as they walk away from their baby’s room for the last time, hoping my words brought them some comfort,’ she says.
Admitting that she sometimes ‘cries in the car home’, Brittany says she posted the picture of her and the little boy because his mum wanted to share her son’s journey and show what a ‘fighter’ he was.
Clearly having resonated with a huge number of people, Brittany’s post has been shared nearly 4000 times, with lots of people commenting about how moved they felt reading her emotional words.