Surviving Neonates:

Top 10 (+1) tips...

So it’s your first neonatal registrar post…bloody terrifying isn’t it! Here are our top ten tips from those who’ve survived and come out the other side.


  1. Your feet will hurt. Buy good shoes. Better still buy a few good shoes and keep a selection at work

  2. Keep a calculator upon you at all times. The smaller, the more portable, the better.

  3. Have a play with the ventilator before your first on call. It goes down better with the nurses if you look like you know what buttons to press when that extreme preterm arrives

  4. When doing lengthy procedures (of which there will be lots), remove your bleep before you gown up. It will inevitably go off and it’ll be a lot easier and less personal for you and the person who has to retrieve it from under your gown

  5. Embrace the team coffee run. It will be your life safer during all the madness.

  6. There will be plenty of madness. It will never end but it will get easier and on the rare occasion it’s not so mad you may even crave it.

  7. The rota is designed to try and break you. Think of it as a test of resilience (and it will come to an end eventually)

  8. If the obstetrics team say that the 25 week twins won’t deliver, they will (probably within the next hour). Always have a contingency plan.

  9. If you’re thinking about calling the consultant- you probably should. Don’t be shy.

  10. Neonatal nurses are pretty much superheroes but they only have one pair of hands. Demonstrate calm and patience at all times.

  11. And finally….Try and go to clinic at least once. Sometimes it can feel like you’re putting the babies through hell, so its nice to see them smiling and enjoying life a year later

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