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WONDERFUL MONDAY: ICU nannies provide support with an extra set of helping hands


SPOKANE, WA — The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital is the only Level 4 unit in our area. This means providers care for the most difficult babies from across the region. They always have a few extra sets of loving hands on hand, and the nurses say it makes a world of difference.

For nannies who volunteer in the NICU and provide an extra set of loving hands, their primary role is to rock babies and provide them with some comfort. As you’d expect, this comfort goes both ways. We meet one of the babysitters who has been volunteering on the third floor of Sacred Heart for almost 6 years.

The nurses at Sacred Hearts NICU have been very busy over the past few years.

“We are so grateful to the NICU nannies who help us get through our days as nurses. They are a very important part of our team,” explained Ginny Amicarella, RNC of the Intensive Care Unit at Sacred Heart.

Ginny says the support nannies provide is essential as they help manage them.

“The nurses are wonderful, the staff are wonderful, but they are busy. There’s a lot going on in that intensive care unit. If we can help them at all, it would be very helpful,” Ruth Ellsworth, a NICU nurse at Sacred Heart, told us.

It may seem like a win-win situation, but Ruth Ellsworth says it’s much more than that. She calls it a “four-way win.” A win for nurses, staff, children and their families.

Helping babysitters starts with the little ones, but it doesn’t end there. Ruth also works to organize the laundry, supplying intensive care blankets in the warmers, formula milk and towels, as well as assisting the front desk staff.

An extra set of gentle hands helps nurses, but Ruth will tell you that she does the most good.

“I find a lot of joy in it. I think that sometimes you distract yourself from the rest of your life. You think about it. You think about it. I walk into the NICU, sit down, hold the baby, look down at this little baby’s face, and they just melt my heart. “Everything else you’re thinking about just seems to go away in that moment,” added Ruth.

It’s moments like the one she describes for us that are a lifetime.

If you would like to support the Children’s Miracle Network, you can make a donation here. 100% of your donation stays in our local community.

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