Neonatal Nurse Job Description
Are you trying to determine if you want to be a neonatal nurse in the future? If so, you may want to review the various tasks this job may include. Every neonatal nurse job description is a little different based on the employer a nurse works for and the level of neonatal nursing he or she works in. The job duties you encounter in this field will be largely dependent on the infants and newborns you are in charge of, but there are some responsibilities that remain fairly consistent. In this article, we will review the job duties of a neonatal nurse practitioner so you can figure out if this is a good career for you.
The Levels of Neonatal Nursing
There are three levels of neonatal nursing that you could consider working within. Level I is reserved for infants and newborns who have no health problems. Level II is meant for sick babies that need a few days of monitoring before being released home. Level III is for critical care infants that must be watched 24 hours a day. The job duties that you encounter as a neonatal nurse practitioner will be dependent upon the level of the field you choose to work in. Keep that in mind as you assess the desirability of this career.
Level I Neonatal Nurse Job Description
Level I neonatal nurses are not in high demand at the moment because most of their services are no longer needed. Healthy babies often stay in the same room as their mothers after birth, so they do not need to have nurses watching over them. Nevertheless, there are hospitals and birthing clinics out there that still need neonatal nurses in this profession. Job duties for those nurses may include:
- Changing diapers for the babies in a nursing ward
- Feeding newborn babies
- Teaching new parents the proper ways to care for their newborns
- Watching infants for possible signs of trouble
- Scheduling release times for healthy newborns
A lot of neonatal nurses start out their careers at level I because it is the slowest-paced option in neonatal nursing. If you want to take your job slow at first, this may be a good position for you.
Level II Neonatal Nurse Job Description
Level II neonatal nurses take care of premature babies and infants with minor health problems at birth. These men and women have to watch over babies closely to avoid further complications, and they must administer a more delicate level of care than that of a level I nurse. Possible job duties in this profession include:
- Monitoring life support machines
- Administering medications to babies
- Teaching parents to care for their babies’ illnesses after release
- Changing dirty diapers
- Bottle feeding level II patients
These duties are similar to those at level II, but the patients involved with them are not as well off. Thus you will have to be more alert at level II, but you will get paid more money as a result of that. Level II neonatal nurses are in high demand at the moment, so you will most likely end up in this position at some point in time. It just depends on the severity of conditions you feel you can work with.
Level III Neonatal Nurse Job Description
A level III neonatal nurse is responsible for the care of the sickest newborns in a hospital. These babies are usually born with extreme medical conditions, or they are born well before their due dates. Possible job duties at level II I include:
- Monitoring the health of babies 24 hours a day
- Maintaining a sterile environment around children at all times
- Administering IVs and other medical devices to patients
- Explaining progress levels to parents so they can understand the health status of their children
- Responding to emergency medical situations that may occur with the neonatal newborns
This is the most intense level of neonatal nursing, but it can be the most rewarding. Critical care neonatal nurses get paid much more than other nurses in this profession, and they get to save lives on a regular basis. This will most likely be the section of the career that you will strive to be a part of, but that all depends on what you want your neonatal nurse job description to be. Assess the job duties above and use them to help you plan your future.