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NICU nurse spends entire career caring for premature babies

NICU nurse spends entire career caring for premature babies

By Taylor Deaton on May 8, 2024

For Patty Hall, RN, nursing and the NICU are the same. 

That’s because Hall has spent her entire 41 years as a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Spartanburg Medical Center. 

“I came here at 20, and I’m still here,” Hall said. “The NICU is all I know now, and that’s alright with me.” 

After observations in various units during nursing school at the University of South Carolina – Upstate, Hall graduated knowing she wanted to call one of the women’s services units her home. 

“I did six months in labor and delivery [after graduation] and then came here to onboard, and I knew. I knew I was good here,” she said. 

For Hall, being a NICU nurse offers some of the most rewarding aspects of health care, like watching a premature baby grow during their time in the NICU and seeing them afterward when their parents bring them back in to visit. 

NICU nurses also form special connections to parents through caring for their little ones in the hospital.  

“Getting to help moms hold their baby for the first time, even though they’re 2 pounds, and helping them deal with the situation of having to go home and leave their baby here is part of what makes the job so rewarding, Hall said. 

“It’s a trust issue,” she said. “They have to be comfortable with you and know that you’re going to care for their child because it’s a new reality.” 

That trust is Hall’s motivation for every shift, even after 40 years. 

“Occasionally, you’ll have a mom say, ‘I can go home now because I know they’re going to be taken care of,’ and that’s the best thing you can give them: the ability to go home and rest,” she said. 

Hall shared that some parents get emotional at discharge because of the special bond they form with the NICU nurses during the hours spent in the unit. 

Hall has even worked with nurses whom she would have taken care of as babies when they were in the NICU. 

Over the years, Hall has cemented her career as a NICU nurse through the relationships she has formed with babies and parents during their most vulnerable moments.  

To learn more about NICU services provided at Spartanburg Medical Center, visit Neonatal Intensive Care | Spartanburg Regional.