There’s a wall covered with thank you cards in the neonatal ward of the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.
And parents of poorly newborn babies have written heartfelt messages inside the cards showing their appreciation for the staff who cared for their children in the unit.
Four nurses working in the ward have taken time out of their busy lives to give Evening Express readers an insight into the work carried out in the ward.
There are around 100 working in the north-east who have the difficult job of not only caring for premature and ill babies but supporting anxious parents.
The unit deals with newborns who need special care as well as tiny babies who are described as being “high dependency” patients.
There are different rooms with different functions, with a dedicated quiet room on site as well as a feeding room and a training room with a dummy.
Sitting in the quiet room in the packed unit, nurses Shereena Steel, 26, Kelly Beattie, 40, Kirsty Mearns, 27, and Susan Crabb, 59, admit the stress of the job can be overbearing at times and that the support of colleagues is crucial to seeing through a shift.
And it is clear they have become one big family, and like every family, lean on each other to get through the most difficult days.
Kirsty, from Bucksburn, said the unit could be very busy but the team are prepared for every eventuality.
They come up with care plans for each child, administer medicines, make sure the units are clean and carry out training.
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They also meet parents and provide emotional support, giving them the opportunity to be involved with the specialist neonatal care of their babies.
Kirsty said: “At the beginning of a shift we always look through our charts and check what needs done for the day and put a plan in place.
“There can always be something unexpected that puts that plan upside down but we have a very good team here.
“We work well together and are good at motivating each other. We also try to have a laugh with each other.
“We can always ask senior members of staff for any help. You can always go to someone and count on their experience.”
And Shereena, from Kincorth, said one of her favourite parts of the job was the reward of seeing babies being well enough to leave hospital.
“We look after them for sometimes months on end and we get to see the light at the end of the tunnel when they get to go home,” she said.
“Seeing a baby who was at one point quite poorly being able to go home is amazing – and knowing that you have made a difference.”
Generations of families have used the facilities at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital since its current site opened in 1988.
Susan says she is still in touch with parents from nearly 25 years ago.
For the last 17 months, staff have been able to provide parents who need extra care with video updates, as the hospital was the first in the north of Scotland to introduce vCreate.
It allows nurses to capture a baby’s first moments through video updates and send them securely to the parents on their own devices.
Once the video clip has been sent, they can access videos of their child at any time.
The videos that staff in the unit make form part of a baby care diary that can be downloaded once their child has been discharged.
However, the unit at the hospital will be replaced when the £200 million Baird Family Hospital is constructed in the coming years.
Space at the current unit is a major challenge for the nurses, as there can be as many as six incubators in a room.
Kelly, a nursery nurse, said: “It can be quite stressful in somewhere like intensive care when you have a lot of people around you.
“There is a lot of equipment plus the incubator and it can be stressful for the nurse to try to get around to giving the baby medicine.
“More space in the new hospital will be a good thing.”
Staff at the unit were shortlisted for a prestigious accolade for its family integrated care project.
The initiative, launched last year, was in the running in the RCNi Nurse Awards in the Child Health Award category.
They did not win, but the project encouraged parents and staff to work together to make sure their baby has the best start in life.
It was to change the culture of parents not being fully involved with the specialist care of newborn babies in the unit.
The drive led to improved facilities for families, including colostrum kits given out to mums in labour and increased skin-to-skin contact between parents and babies.
The model of integrated family care has achieved such good results, the length of stays in the ward has decreased and other hospitals in the UK and across the world have shown interest.