The work of a neonatal nurse is clearly never done. The people who take care of newborns who were born prematurely or need extra attention for other medical reasons already have a lot on their plates. Soothing parents, keeping babies with troubling medical conditions comfortable, assisting doctors... the list goes on. But this viral video of nurses in a neonatal unit protecting babies during an earthquake is solid proof that their main priority is always going to be their tiny charges.
In this video, the small cribs of the neonatal unit in a postpartum center in the city of Pohang, South Korea, are tucked neatly against a wall. The nurses are bustling about doing various tasks; one nurse appears to be talking to someone who is cuddling a baby, others are tending to little ones in their cribs. The date was Nov. 15, the same day a 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit South Korea, according to Liftable. An earthquake shakes the entire hospital, and several things happen at once. The person who is holding a baby on the sofa clutches the infant closer instinctively. And the nurses immediately jump into action. Each of them rushes to protect the babies in their cribs, pulling them away from the walls and closer together. Without stopping to discuss possible strategies, without seeming to think of anything at all other than the elemental need to protect the babies. To keep them safe.
Babies in the neonatal unit are generally less than one month old. They are the most vulnerable of human beings, and nurses who work in this unit are charged with caring for "infants born with a variety of problems ranging from prematurity, birth defects, infection, cardiac malformations, and surgical problems," according to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. It is a monumental responsibility, and one these nurses obviously do not take lightly. While caring for those babies is their job, their quick thinking and instinctive protective nature is a beautiful, humbling thing to witness. Above and beyond the call of duty, and deserving of all the attention its currently receiving. When South Korean news outlet SBS shared the video, and it people have watched it more than 1.9 million times.
The video comes on the heels of World Prematurity Day, which was on Nov. 17. World Prematurity Day was founded in 2011 as a way to "focus everyone’s attention on the global problem of premature birth. Join us in raising awareness," according to the organization's Facebook page. It's a day to honor premature babies, their parents, and the amazing nurses who care for them. With that in mind, Story Of This Life, along with Huggies, created a video thanking their neonatal unit nurses for all they do behind the scenes by reconnecting them with families they have helped. The video, called "A Hug Back For Nurses," features nurses talking about special patients they have helped and then being reconnected with those grateful families. Get the tissues ready; it's unbelievably emotional.
People who watched the viral video of the Pohang nurses were moved as well, both parents and nurses alike. YouTube user Roshani wrote:
This is a beautiful video. I’m in my final few weeks of school to be an RN and I’m doing my preceptorship in the NICU. I cannot wait to do this full time in just a few months.
YouTube user Jenna Glora wrote:
My son was in the NICU for 65 days and it was the hardest time of my life but the nurses were amazing!
If there's one thing people can learn from the video of neonatal nurses rushing to protect babies from an earthquake, it's that being a nurse is more than just a job for many people — caring for those tiny people can be harrowing, and needs to be appreciated every day.
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