Former Good Sam Nurse Finds Passion in NICU

Allison Merritt will never forget the day she found out Good Samaritan Hospital was closing. Though still a relatively new nurse, she had recently changed units from the Mother-Baby unit at Good Sam to the Special Care Nursery. There, it dawned on her that taking care of babies was her passion.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be out of a job or not. All I knew was that if I couldn’t work with babies, I was going back to bartending!” Allison laughs.

When Premier Health asked Good Sam nurses which system hospitals they would like to transfer to, Allison admits that the Miami Valley Hospital NICU wasn’t even a consideration for her initially. “There was a rumor going around that the NICU nurses had a real ‘eat their young’ mentality,” she says. So she submitted her formal request to go to a different Premier hospital instead.

After giving it some serious thought, however, Allison had a change of heart. “I called the person in charge in a panic and told them I wanted to go to the NICU!”

Allison was relieved to find that the rumors about the staff at Miami Valley Hospital’s NICU were completely off base. “It was the total opposite,” Allison remembers. “Nurses kept coming up and introducing themselves. Everybody was so welcoming and friendly and eager to teach.”

Allison hit the unit floor running and it wasn’t long before she started caring for more critical babies. “When I have a micro-preemie and they can’t even put their whole hand around my finger, that’s just the best,” she says.

What really became Allison’s love is being assigned First Response, responding to critical situations like Code Pinks and Code Greens all over the Berry Center. “I love how we can take a baby who is not breathing and save them,” she says. “It’s amazing to watch them get better right in front of you.”

Now in her second year at Miami Valley Hospital, Allison is joining the unit’s Small Baby Team and regularly cares for some of the sickest babies in the NICU. She is well-liked and respected by her peers and management.

“For me, anyway, Good Sam’s closing and my transferring to the Valley really was a blessing in disguise,” Allison says. “I never would have found my calling if I hadn’t come to the NICU.”

Back to the November 2019 issue of the Nursing Newsletter

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