Faye Tott, Senior Nursery Nurse
Hi. My name is Faye Tott and I joined NICU at Luton and Dunstable in 2007, when I was only 19 years old, as a Nursery-Nurse. In 2017 I was given the privilege to attend and complete The Special Care Module (405) at University Of Bedfordshire, in Putteridge. Although challenging, academically, and while working full time, I surprised myself when I passed 6 months later with a Distinction and given the job title of Senior Neonatal Nursery-Nurse. I’m now currently training to become a Certified Baby Massage Instructor, funded by L&D, in hope to then teach our families in NICU and our local community.
From a very young age I always knew that I wanted to work with children. My Mum, Kath, was a childminder for 9 years. So to me, little ones were fountains of joy. I could never get enough of their lovely innocent personalities and truthfulness, untainted by the world around us. Unlike adults, who bring their own baggage to almost every situation, children, especially young children, are full with wonder and so eager to learn. They are vulnerable, yet so brave. They are energetic and optimistic; they have hope and are always sincere. They believe the best will happen and show their real emotions without fear. They are open and honest, refreshing and stimulating, and they keep me grounded. I’ve always wanted to protect them from any harm or hurt as best as I can and give them the best chance to prosper. I thrive & work well under pressure, so for me, I was drawn to the idea of dedicating my career to challenging work I can be proud of as I improve the lives of others; nursing within a Special Care Baby Unit was a clear-cut path for me to embark upon.
When I tell people that I work in NICU I am often met with the response of “what’s that?” As soon as I mention the B word- babies- I am normally met with the response of “Aww babies, how cute, I bet you get to cuddle them all day!” I’d be lying if I said that we don’t get to enjoy some newborn cuddles, but that is really only a fraction of what we do. Every day over 300 babies are admitted to neonatal care. As a level three hospital, with our size and status, we care for a wide range of babies, including some of the sickest. NICU is busy, it’s fast paced and no two days are ever the same. You have to be on constant alert to any sudden changes of clinical deterioration due to the fragility of the patients.
Each day in NICU varies greatly, which I love. The relationships we have, with parents, other nurses and consultants are all vital day-in, day-out, and part of what makes the job so motivating and interesting. It is a very supportive environment, from induction, being mentored, encouraged and undertaking a range of courses to enable the best care to all of my patients.
My favourite role is providing ‘top to tail’ care for a baby, normally done every 3-4 hours. This involves cleaning their face, mouth and if well enough a light wash. I change their nappy, change their sheets, rearrange teddies and reposition her/him ready for either a feed or another deep sleep. Something I’m actually well known for by all parents, past and present.
One of the most enjoyable parts is building incredible bonds with your patient and their family – from parents telling you they will sleep well tonight because you’re looking after their baby, to watching the babies grow and achieve milestones like transitioning from an incubator to a cot. Also supporting both parents to provide the care for their newborn baby and assist in providing an environment that encourages their attachment process & preparing them for discharge home. It’s also about supporting the mothers who feel like they did something wrong in their pregnancy and supporting the fathers who feel like a spare part or are worried that they might hurt their baby if they hold them. Some parents can go weeks without being able to hold their baby, so supporting them to feel like parents during such a difficult time is a crucial part of what I do; Family Centred Care. You can expect to make a difference in the lives of babies and their families. In fact, you’ll likely hear from the babies and families you’ve helped treat throughout their lives. Every birthday, and Christmas.
In many ways, I am the voice of the smallest and sickest patients who don’t have one of their own.