Neonatal Nursing Care is a provision for nursing care to the infants up to a period of 28 days following birth. Neonatal nurses form the vital part in neonatal nursing care team. There are three various stages or levels of neonatal nursery. Level one involves healthy new born care, level two deals with the intermediate special care for ill or premature babies whereas, level three deals with NICU management needing high technology.
The initial step in neonatal nursing care is to assess the new born followed by examination and evaluation in proper nursing diagnosis and prognosis. Nursing duties in a NICU differs from that of in the wards. NICU deals with emergency critical compassionate caring of the babies to prevent cross infections and promote faster recovery.
Neonatal nursing care requires lot of patience and commitment as the patient they are dealing with are new born delicate lives. Recklessness in any form can cause jeopardy to their lives. There is no estimation of time in providing nursing care as they even have night shifts to take care of the infants. Dedication in care to the infants plays a role in nursing management. During their academic career they are taught efficiently to provide compassionate neonatal care without anything in return.
Child birth is a complex yet wonderful process. Mother and babies undergo various anatomical, physical and psychological changes. After delivery the new born is separated from the mother’s placenta and circulation and hence, it’s deprived of all the physiological functions provided by the mother in uterus. So, it would be difficult for the baby to adjust to the external surrounding. As a fetus vital functions like eating, breathing, immunological protection and excretion of waste was assisted by the mother. Major body systems undergo a dramatic change different to that in fetal stage.
After birth, the baby’s system solely contributes in its functioning. It’s a must that the infant has to start breathing with the functioning of lungs for an effortless breathing. This contributes to proper functioning of pulmonary circulation. Pulmonary circulation is connected with the cardiac circulation as the blood from heart reaches the lungs for purification to be supplied to all the body parts. Kidney should begin to function for maintaining fluid and chemical balance and the process of excretion of urine. Also other vital organs and the immunological systems should start to function independently.
Some maternal factors like adolescent age, diabetes, alcohol or drug abuse, bleeding, hypertension, multiple pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, no or increased amniotic fluid, premature amniotic rupture contributes to admitting the new born in the neonatal intensive care unit. Factors related to baby like premature birth, resuscitation during delivery, seizures, streptococcal infections, birth defects, etc. also relate to intensive neonatal care. Neonatologist is considered as the head of the neonatal unit. Apart from many medical experts, nurses indulge in a major role in neonatal nursing in rendering compassionate care to the infants. Hence, efficient neonatal nursing care to the new born is very essential in its recovery from illness.