Publications News

What is it like to be a nurse in a NICU?

What is it like to be a nurse in a NICU?

Being a nurse can be a demanding job, especially when you're surrounded by the most vulnerable. When 53 -year- old Susan Dinga is at work, nothing else matters but the babies. She is an RN at CHI St. Alexius in the NICU and has been doing it for 28 years.

"The families trust you to take care of their most prized possession. I think it is fun because not only do we take care of the babies but also the parents," said Dinga. She always knew she wanted to be a nurse and her love for children started at an early age.

"Me and my friend always had dolls we would play with until we were in the 8th grade. Growing up I also would baby sit all the time. Babies were always a comfortable thing for me," said Dinga. NICU nurses care for sick and premature babies. It's a demanding and sometimes heartbreaking job. But as an RN the unknown is the scariest part.

"You can be comfortable and relaxed one moment, but the next moment it can all change. You can never be too comfortable for the day," said Dinga. The NICU has up to 10 to 16 babies daily either delivered at the hospital or transported from other cities. Dinga treats them all like they are her own.

"My priority is making sure the each baby is safe and healthy," Dinga said. A typical shift is about 12 hours and there are times you work holidays. "What I hate about my job? I don't hate anything," said Dinga.

KX News
Reporting Sonji Milburn