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Students in the NICU: What Do YOU Learn by Teaching Them?

Have you had a student shadow you in the NICU recently? A medical student, nursing student, OT, PT, or SLP student?

This is what happened the last time I did:

As I went through the day explaining the WHY and HOW of everything I do it made me realize 3 things:

  • There is something about working with a great nurse, a great RT and a fragile baby during 8 am care that reminds me why I love my work. Teamwork. Fragility. Intensive Care. Present moment awareness. Anticipating the others’ needs. Neurodevelopmental care. It’s all there. Seeing it through a student’s eyes makes it even more meaningful. I was renewed by verbally recalling exactly how much our work matters.
  • I LOVE teaching how to mesh a developmental model with a medical model. It’s part of why I love working in acute care. I’ve never seen this illustrated more vividly than in the NICU.
  • There are 100 reasons to share knowledge and not one reason to hoard it.

    Like many of you, I’ve been ‘raised’ in a teaching hospital. I’ve been taught by countless incredible people and have tried to honor that gift by sharing with others. My most generous teachers made it clear that this body of work and the outcomes that follow improve exponentially when education is simply part of the culture.

Having a student shadow you, even for just a few hours or a day, is a great reminder of how fun it is to discover something new. And I would argue that being the teacher of that new thing is twice as amazing.