Day 46 - Friday 4th August 2017

I managed to talk Lisa in to stopping in bed this morning for a lie in.... she called the ward at 8am and spoke to the nurse that had taken over at 7:30am..... after Lisa put the phone down she got really stressed out because the nurse was another newly qualified one and didn't seem to know what was going on with Theo.... I got up and went over to the ward straight away..... When I got there the nurse really didn't seem to know much about Theo, so I told her that Lisa and I normally do everything.... she said that was fine and just left me to it.... I spent all morning with Theo doing his cares and feeds and then at about 12pm I received an email from the Education & Skills Funding Agency.....I had been awarded the two direct AEB contracts that I bidded for back in March!!! First direct government contracts awarded for my two training companies since I set them up..... it was also the first time we had been able to bid for AEB, so I couldn't believe we had won them... I almost burst out crying when I told Theo.... the future is looking bright.... I called Lisa and told her, then went to the shop to get us all some lunch.... Lisa was still in bed when I got back to RMH at 1:30pm, and Jack was on his playstation..... I was so glad Lisa had had a good rest and spent some time with Jack! After lunch, Lisa went back over to the ward and I stayed with Jack at RMH and did some emails...... letting my senior management team and staff know the good news 👍 I made dinner for us all at about 5pm and Lisa came over to eat with us. It was the first time in ages we had sat and had an evening meal together! We had a nice chat with Jack who seemed happier and he told us some more stories about his holiday..... Then Lisa went back over to sit with Theo until about 9pm. She has been really worried about Theo since he came off the ventilator because he's still got chronic lung disease and could need to be re-ventilated at any time..... I'm worried that she is going to burn out but in the same breath, feel that one of us should be with Theo all the time..... it's so stressful!! When Lisa came back to RMH, she said that the night nurse (another newly qualified one) wasn't very experienced with the BiPAP machine and didn't really know how to work it..... there are only 3 of them on the unit so not everybody has worked with them, but I thought to myself "how can you look after a baby on BiPAP if you don't know how to use the machine???" She was also looking after two babies in the room so Lisa was really stressed about leaving Theo.... Lisa won't say anything if she's not happy, she just keeps it in and gets worked up..... I told her to stop stressing and then I went back over and sat with Theo while the nurse sat with the other baby. I think because Theo is doing so well and is off the ventilator, they have started to put the newest nurses with him and the experienced ones with the really poorly babies (which I understand) but I think he is only doing so well because we are always there with him and are constantly watching him to make sure everything is ok..... whereas the nurses (especially those that have two babies to look after) rely on the sounds of the alarms on the machines to check he is ok.... things change all the time and Lisa and I try to prevent the alarms going off by making small adjustments to his mask or his position when his sats drop slightly.... every time the alarm goes off, he's not getting the required oxygen to his body or brain.... I stayed with Theo until about 2:30am and did all his cares and feeds. He was pretty settled so I had a good chat with the nurse about his mask because he's a right figiter and his mask keeps slipping off his nose.... I asked her to keep an eye on it so that Theo was settled all night and had good gases...... I then went to bed as I had to take Jack to meet his grandad at 7am because he was going out for the day.... It's really frustrating at the minute because although I know that the NICU is a daunting place to work; and if you are new you need to practice to become fully confident with all aspects, but as I found out the other night, anything can happen at any time...... Theo has only been off the ventilator for a couple of days and is under close eye with the doctors because he could need to be re-ventilated again at any time!

I get that there are other nurses that are fully experienced in the room, but to leave Theo with a nurse that you know is not fully confident with his BiPAP machine and is inexperienced, is really stressful..... maybe I'm just over-reacting because I'm super tired, but it's really hard!

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