You know you're a NICU nurse when...
1. You weigh diapers and always make note of poop color.
2. At one time or another you've had breast milk, poop, or urine on your work clothes.
3. You have affectionately called a patient wimpy white boy or FLK (funny looking kid) in report.
4. You can change your patient's bed linens with one hand while holding your patient in the other. (This always impresses Ross. He's seen me do it!)
5. On a related note, you can swaddle a kid so well that you can "palm" them with one hand at their head doesn't flop around.
6. You can make an IV arm board out of some 4x4 gauze and tape.
7. You've used a sock, a beanbag, or a piece of tape for a restraint.
8. Jaundice is the first thing you notice when you see a friend's new baby.
9. You use a cotton ball to obtain urine samples.
10. You use Saran Wrap to keep micro-preemies warm.
11. You refer to pacifiers as "mute buttons."
12. You think the pulse oximeter, CPAP, and those leads that barely stick were created by someone who hates nurses. And babies.
13. You have ever shown a doctor a green residual while they were eating.
14. You have obtained a 10ml residual when the patient only "eats" 1ml.
15. You have put an intensive care patient in a swing.
16. You don't get excited if your patient has a heart rate of 180 and if they have a bradycardia episode, you usually just have to pat them gently on the butt a few times to recover.
17. You prepare your patient's bath water in a (clean) emesis basin.
18. You use a rubber band for a tourniquet.
19. Newborn babies look like preschoolers to you.
20. You have assisted with emergency surgery on your patient in their bed and on the unit.
21. You have considered using medical tape to hold a pacifier in a screaming baby's mouth.
22. Sugar water is a genuine pain medication in your unit.
23. Adult-sized medical equipment freaks you out!
24. It never ceases to amaze you how much noise a 3 lb. baby can make.
25. You've taken care of a baby no bigger than your outstretched hand (my smallest was 405 grams-- that's 14.25 oz.)
26. You get attached to your tiniest patients because you take care of them for months at a time!