If you have always been interested in going into the medical field and want to make a major difference in people's lives, you may be considering work in the neonatal field. The NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) is the area of a hospital in which babies that are born premature and have accompanying health issues and complications receive specialized care and monitoring. Helping these vulnerable infants and their parents can be a challenging and yet fulfilling career path. Get to know some of the neonatal careers that you may want to pursue so that you can get started in your studies and get a job in the neonatal field as soon as possible.
Neonatal nursing is a career in high demand. The nurses in this field are often at the top of their class because of all of the skills they need to have and the attention to detail they must pay. Many of the babies in the NICU need constant monitoring and medical care and their nurses are often the first medical care professional by their side.
Neonatal nurses often also form close working relationships with the parents of the babies in the NICU. To become a neonatal nurse, you will need at minimum an associates degree and nursing certification. However, many neonatal nurses have bachelor's degrees or master's degrees in nursing as well as specialized training in infant care and special needs patients.
Occupational or Physical Therapy
Because of all of the health issues that premature babies are born with, there is also a need for occupational and physical therapy in NICU environments. Physical therapy for prematurely born children is focused on helping those children to reach important milestones, like rolling over onto their stomachs and being able to grasp objects with their hands. While these seem like small achievements, for a child born early and small, these growth milestones represent a huge accomplishment and getting them to that point is important so that they can go home and live a happy and healthy life going forward.
Occupational therapy in a NICU, on the other hand, is primarily focused upon the baby's central nervous system and its development in relation to important daily activities and needs. This usually has to do with the child's feeding behaviors and progress in those areas. The movements of the arms and legs of a NICU patient are also important as they can affect a child's development for crawling, walking, and the like.
Oftentimes, occupational therapists and physical therapists work together to help a NICU baby's development along. Both occupational and physical therapists need master's degrees and certification in their respective fields as well as specialized training in treating infants with special needs.
Now that you know more about a few of the career opportunities available to you in neonatology, you can be sure that you choose the right career for yourself and your goals. For more ideas about career options, contact a company like Kidz Medical Services.