This team quietly works extremely hard every day and every night in a remote area in PAH that so many people who work here do not even know exists. They have no idea of the complexity of care, the rigorous demands of the staff and the emotional strength required to do this job.
During the months of May and June of this year, our NICU experienced a surge in its census. In April, we admitted 29 babies. In May we admitted 32 babies and in June we admitted a record 50 babies! We have been on diversion since June 17th, with several days taking care of 32 babies while our capacity is 27 babies. Our staff has been amazing. Normally, we have 16-18 babies with 20-30 admissions per month.
These are remarks from our Medical Director, Scott Johnson: “These past two months put our Team Stepps training to the test! Our staff has remained committed to taking the extra time to follow the program to ensure patient safety by using effective communication tools and strategies. We have witnessed a very special transformation of team growth and comradery in both our NICU and INT units during extremely stressful shifts.”
Even though our team has challenging, heavy assignments, deliveries to attend, responding to heart-stopping code pinks and admissions to complete, they have continued to professionally perform their duties while demonstrating caring and compassion for their patients and one another. They can still laugh, make jokes and demonstrate incredible teamwork all at the same time. Yes, they can get tired but that is when the compassion for their patients and co-workers strengthens.
As Valerie and I watched these nurses and therapists work so hard day after day, we encouraged them to reflect on why they entered the healthcare field and specialized in neonatology in the first place. It is obvious to all that they became NICU nurses and therapists for a reason; their true love for the babies and their families. They embrace the pace, the heart-stopping moments, the responsibilities, but mostly the opportunity to truly affect the lives of others every moment of every day. Our staff is doing the job they were meant to do and working in the hospital that is right for them. Talk about being in the right profession and experiencing the satisfaction of knowing that you make a difference in the life of a child and their parents every time you come to work. This is a very special group of people.
Thank you to our NICU staff for quietly saving lives, genuinely caring about the human connections, and for making an impact on these precious lives. We have witnessed, by the actions of our staff, that our mission in the NICU is not centered around words but genuinely caring for our patients, their families and each other.