Help a NICU Nurse: Culturally Competent Care

  • Help a NICU Nurse: Culturally Competent Care

    Nicu Moms - 2021 flakiestofsnows updated 3 weeks ago 2 Members · 2 Posts
  • Nicu Moms - 2021

    canadian_boyfriend

    Member
    November 6, 2021 at 7:30 am

    For many cultures, especially American Indian cultures, hair is sacred. Hair won’t be cut unless for ceremony or the child is older and decides they want their hair cut. Even most Anglo parents want to celebrate a first haircut.

    Procedures that require hair to be cut should be described to the parents and they should be asked about their thoughts and what they would like to be done. Do not assume parents know their child’s hair will be shaved when placing a reservoir or shunt. Parents have so much on their mind, they don’t know to ask to keep the clippings or even take a photo.

    Also, don’t assume parents know what spiritual services are available or what ceremonies they can have brought in. Tell parents what they can do and what other families have done. A Native family didn’t know they could smudge until 3 months in and after several critical events. A float told them. They never asked because they didn’t think it was available.

    Parents don’t know what we don’t know about available services and what we can ask for in crisis. We walk around with trauma brain 24/7 and the NICU is a brand new alternate universe to us.

  • Nicu Moms - 2021

    donotpassgo369

    Member
    November 6, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Since the holidays are coming up, I’d ask if the family has any traditions they’d like to incorporate during their baby’s stay in the NICU. Either cultural, religious, or any family traditions that can be reasonably done in the NICU. Being in the NICU during the holidays is something that will hit especially hard.

    Even though I don’t go big on Halloween like some other families do, it’s just another grieving point for me, since I never imagined I’d have to celebrate Halloween in the NICU. The child life specialist in the NICU did provide a cute Halloween themed onesie and took some photos for us which definitely helped.

  • Nicu Moms - 2021

    rebelmusik

    Member
    November 6, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Hi I am Asian Indian and it would upset me whenever nurses would comment on my baby’s weight or how much she was drinking. My culture, like many others, believe it casts an evil eye. Often times my daughter would stop drinking after the comments and it made me so upset.

  • Nicu Moms - 2021

    FoxZaddy

    Member
    November 6, 2021 at 7:30 am

    My baby is currently in the nicu slowly weaning off of o2, and everything is dependent on the pulse oximeter she wears. I read recently that it’s calibrated to non-melanated skin, and our baby is black. When I asked the rounding doctors about this their response was very dismissive and just like well we can’t do anything about that. I’d love to see more medical professionals advocating these kinds of shifts.

  • Nicu Moms - 2021

    flakiestofsnows

    Member
    November 6, 2021 at 7:30 am

    I am a NICU nurse who is invested in committing to providing care that is important to you, your family, and your baby within the context of your culture.

    Background: I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my patients who were POC for skin and hair because I didn’t really know their needs. I attended the recent NANN (National Association of Neonatal Nurses) conference and there was a short session on ethnic hair care. I loved that this session provided me some information and I really want to apply the lessons learned on my unit (especially the need for satin/silk materials under the head).

    I recognize that there’s a lot more that I probably don’t know. What would you like for your NICU nurses to know about your culture and wish they would have done/would do for your baby?

    My guiding framework at work is questioning whether I would be happy with the care I am providing if my own baby were the patient. I want that to be relevant to every family I provide care to. I know the best way to do right by my families is to ask them individually.

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