Envisage this – you are a neonatal nurse and you go to work in a busy neonatal unit. Here you find yourself the only nurse in that room for that shift – caring for all 45 babies sharing 30 cots as there are not enough cots for all the babies. Four of the babies are sharing phototherapy lights. You are advised that mothers will generally come every three hours to feed the babies, except for the few babies that have no family. Although highly skilled, from a simple mathematics calculation, you realise you have a maximum of 10 minutes to spend with each baby in an 8 hour shift – not including any breaks, writing notes, or new admissions. Reflect a little on how this would affect the quality of your care.
Karen Walker and Carole Kenner from the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN) -of which NNASA is a member and is represented on the board-reflect on the importance of neonatal nurses in reducing costs and improving outcomes for neonates globally. Read the rest of their article below.
The reference to Economic assessment of neonatal intensive care by Irene Guat Sim Cheah also makes for interesting reading and good advocacy points.