THANK U NICU Day is a national day held each November to thank and acknowledge all Australian Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Special Care Nursery (SCN) staff.
This year, more than 2000 premature or sick babies have been admitted for care in Newborn Services at Western Health.
Our team of nurses, midwives and doctors care for our smallest patients around the clock in the NICU and Special Care Nursery at Joan Kirner Women's and Children's at Sunshine Hospital, and the Special Care Nursery at Bacchus Marsh Hospital.
Baby Summer is one of our patients currently being cared for in the NICU at Joan Kirner, weighing 963 grams. Born 14 weeks early on the 8 of November to parents Jodine and Moustafa, Summer weighed 856 grams at birth and was intubated for two days. She is making great progress and is now feeding exclusively on expressed breast milk via a feeding tube.
Registered Nurse Justine Lim is caring for Summer, keeping a watchful eye on her tiny body in the incubator she spends most of her days in while she grows.
"It's a really fulfilling job watching the babies get bigger and meet their milestones so they can go home with their families. Every day the parents visit and we get to know them too. I love the team here – we support each other. There is always someone to call if you need too. There's real teamwork".
Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Michelle Ryan, says the team do an amazing job caring for the tiniest patients at a time when there is huge demand for NICU beds across the state.
"The team are doing a phenomenal job. The acuity has been high, meaning we have had really sick babies to care for. We've also been working with high staff deficits due to COVID and illness. We work hard to support each other and make sure our patients and families are supported and get home.
"Every day the parents are just grateful for the care. They are hugely thankful. We are very lucky we get lots of cards from families."