As part of the Child Development labor and delivery unit, we studied emergency care, pre-mature births and what it is like to have an infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Students took a virtual tour of a NICU and realized an integral part of full understanding is realizing the intense and overwhelming emotions that these families go through on a daily basis. It was also realized how important community support can be in these tough situations. So, in order to show our support, build morale, and make the families and NICU staff smile, my students created tiny Halloween costumes out of felt. It is our hope that these tiny costumes can remind the families they are not alone and also help them in celebrating milestones, like a first Halloween, while in the NICU!
1. Celebrating special occasions in the NICU can promote normalcy in the families and gives the families an opportunity to create memories despite the trying times.
2. Classes and other organizations can get involved with local NICUs or Ronald McDonald houses is raising funds for equipment and other items needed in a NICU, send letters or gifts to the NICU nurses who have dedicated themselves to caring for patients in the NICU, making Christmas outfits for the NICU infants like we did for Halloween, and supporting the parents as much as possible.
3. Having a child in the NICU can cause an extreme amount of stress for parents and families. Some ways that the parents can less lonely and isolated while their infant spends time in the NICU is by surrounding themselves by close friends and family. Another way could be during the time they’re away from their baby try to participate in activities that bring them happiness.
This project connects to our community because it brings us together to give to these family and preemies and allows them to still celebrate and be involved in Halloween under the given circumstances.
Anonymous student: “This project connects very closely to myself and my family, because I was born five weeks prematurely and opiate addicted. In the community there are support groups, professional counseling and on-line forums for encouragement and support. Citizens volunteering in local NICU’s and the community, like our class, coming together to help the families manage the struggles are all ways that will leave an impact forever”.
One thing that would have made the impact greater would be if we had the opportunity to actually see the infants in the NICU and have conversations with the families. Unfortunately, due to covid, this was not able to happen; however, some students were still able to write to the families and we hope to hear back!
We are proud to complete this project because it is a way to give back to the community in a wholesome way. In addition, we were able to impact the families, who are strangers to us, and hopefully give them something to remember for the rest of their lives. Some of us are also proud to do a project that impacts Premature babies because we were preemies ourselves and it feels special to be given the opportunity to give back. We are so proud to be able to put our hearts into something to help members of our community during a dark time.
Students and administrators at Butler Tech can submit their projects to us for inclusion on the website. Please only submit projects with appropriate content and that are clearly documented with instructions and outlines, including photos and other references to help readers.