Annika Lesch, Neonatal Nurse
What was your initial attitude towards the camera-project? Have you been sceptical?
I was indeed sceptical in the beginning since I didn’t know whether the cameras would interfere with my daily working routine in the NICU. My colleagues and me had been informed about the project long way before it started. I really appreciated the fact that the staff council had been involved from the very beginning and had given its okay. Personally, I never really had any reservations about the streaming service. I belong to a generation that grew up with this kind of new media. Meanwhile, I don’t even notice the bedside-cameras anymore. It keeps thrilling me how well the cameras are being received by parents.
Do you notice a different behaviour in parents using the streaming-service compared to parents who don’t?
The parents using this service all use it in a different way. The majority wants to have a quick look at their baby whenever they don’t have the chance to be present in the NICU. Most parents tell us that short but frequent virtual visits have a tremendously calming effect on them. It can occur that parents using the bedside-cameras feel the need to call us more often than those who don’t make use of them. For example, if their baby has thrown up or if the parents feel their baby should be positioned differently. Sometimes a camera is not placed precisely but then the parents usually give us a short call and we try to re-arrange the camera so it delivers a good picture into the parents’ home. That does of course add to our workload but in the end it helps us to convince the parents that their child is doing fine.
Are there specific “visiting hours” when the cameras are switched on or, respectively, off?
There are no set hours in our intensive care unit. Parents are always welcome, day and night. The same applies to the bedside-cameras. The nurse-in-charge arranges with the parents when the camera shall be online. That means they are usually online 24-7. We are solely turning them away during care-procedures since they would obstruct our workflow.