A group of NICU nurses spent three months caring for an extremely rare patient — a baby orangutan from Zoo Atlanta.
Baby Sandar was born March 30 at Zoo Atlanta. While Sandar was a welcome addition to the zoo’s population of endangered primates, he weighed less than 1 kgÂ at birthÂ and wouldn’t nurse. Zookeepers intervened in an effort to save his life.
The staff veterinarians knew the animal needed special care, and called the nurses at the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Healthcare Atlanta. The nurses helped the staff determine what size feeding tubeÂ would be most appropriate for Sandar. They also donated countless hours to care for the young primate.
The nurses received specialized training, but also drew upon their nursing knowledge. Chrys Fields, RNC, BSN told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “We took what we knew, changed it up a bit and adapted. That’s what nurses do — we flex.”
Sandar’s condition ultimately worsened, despite his round-the-clock care, and he was euthanized July 1. The nurses say they learned a lot from their special patient. “Caring for [Sandar] brought us back to the basics of nursing,” Fields told the Journal Constitution, “and reminded us why we do what we do.”
Has aÂ unique patient affected your nursing career?