The Duties and Responsibilities of a Neonatal Nurse

Published: 05th September 2011
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Neonatal nursing is defined as the care for newborn infants who are up to 28 days old. This scope of nursing is focused on rendering basic and complex nursing skills to this particular group of the population. Letís find out more about neonatal nursing as we go along with this topic.
What makes a nurse fit and competent enough to become a neonatal nurse?
Neonatal nursing is a special scope of the nursing practice. Only those who are competent enough can work and practice nursing in the neonatal area. Aside from the passing the NCLEX-RN or the National Comprehensive Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, one must also undergo a series of training programs which include a specialization on the neonatal area. The duration of the specialization depends on the policy of the medical facility. In some establishments, they would require three months of specialty training.
When this is over, certification is issued to nurses who have completed the specific number of hours in the assigned area. This is to be presented to an establishment or a medical facility the moment they desire to be neonatal nurses.
Why is there a need for a certification in order to work as neonatal nurses?
Caring for neonates is a risky and complicated obligation. This is because neonates have delicate and fragile conditions which directly affect different procedures rendered for their care. One wrong move can put a neonateís life at risk, the reason why there should be an intensive and meticulous training for those who are interested in working at neonatal areas in hospital and private facilities.
What are the different tasks and responsibilities of neonatal nurses?
There are different levels which are assigned to neonatal nurses in this special area. These are:
 Level I. It consists of caring for neonates who are healthy during childbirth. They are discharged from the medical facility along with the mother.
 Level II. It consists of caring for neonates who are ill and born premature. Level II also includes caring for neonates who experience minor problems during childbirth.
 Level III. It consists of caring for neonates who are suffering from delicate and intensive conditions. They would usually need treatments in order for them to survive.

Tasks would usually compose of administering medications, providing phototherapy, transcribing doctorís orders, assisting doctors in special procedures such as intubation and administration of emergency drugs, feeding and keeping the environment clean and suitable for healthy recovery.

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