Profiles and Features February 7, 2020

5 Must-Have Nursing Skills for Neonatal Nurses

Thinking about becoming a neonatal nurse? 

Neonatal nurses care for the most vulnerable of patients, which can be an incredibly rewarding career.

Becoming a neonatal nurse requires a particular set of skills that aren’t necessarily taught in nursing school. 

Below are five must-have neonatal nursing skills for success.

5 Must-Have Neonatal Nursing Skills For Success

1. Strong Communication Skills are Essential

Neonatal nurses often have regular contact with parents who've received distressing news about their baby's health.

To establish and maintain trust with the family, it's important that neonatal nurses can actively listen to their concerns and clearly communicate the infant's condition. 

Communication is also essential between a nurse and doctor to ensure mistake-free care.

2. Attention to Detail

Infants undergo rapid development, especially those born prematurely.

For neonatal nurses, it's essential to have a firm understanding of each stage of development. 

They must recognize the minor deviations that could signify major health concerns. Since babies are unable to communicate, neonatal nurses are often the first line of defense against possible complications.

3. Neonatal Nurses Should be Breastfeeding Experts

While in the NICU, one of the best ways for parents to get involved in caring for their baby is through breastfeeding.

A properly-trained neonatal nurse can have a significant impact on successful breastfeeding. 

Leigh Anne O'Connor, a private lactation consultant, says, "Breastfeeding skills should be basic training for all health care professionals who work in pediatrics and obstetrics, particularly neonatal professionals."

4. Manual Dexterity

Infants are tiny, so neonatal nurses must have nimble fingers to perform necessary procedures on their patients. 

Newborns are also easily injured, so nurses must handle them gently even while the baby is moving erratically.

Good hand dexterity makes it easier to care for the infant and allows the neonatal nurse to work faster.

5. The Ability to Make Quick Decisions

The human immune system takes time to fully develop, leaving infants vulnerable to infection and disease. 

Without a strong immune system, a small health issue can become a crisis. Neonatal nurses must be able to assess a situation quickly so that a manageable problem doesn't become critical.

Neonatal nurses are responsible for the care of infants facing serious health complications. 

These five skills are crucial for neonatal nurses to perform their duties effectively, helping them navigate the fluctuating needs of their patients. 

Those who possess these skills have a bright future working as advocates to tiny members of the newest generation.

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