Working with the tiniest, most fragile patients in a hospital is something Macy Humann was called to do when she was just a child.
“When I was younger, I had a cousin that was born still. From this, I knew I wanted to help and care for babies. I wanted to help give them the best possible chance of being able to grow up and experience life to their fullest potential,” said Humann.
Humann, a registered nurse at Sanford Health in Bismarck, is the clinical care leader of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. While she tried other areas of nursing in college, she always returned to the NICU.
“In nursing school, I tried to have an open mind about other areas, but my heart always led me back to the NICU. I believe God designed me to be a NICU nurse and He created the path to where I am today,” said Humann, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
Humann, 28, graduated from Bismarck High School in 2012 and enrolled in the nursing program at the University of Mary that fall. She graduated in 2016 and started her career in the NICU soon after. She said she immediately knew she had found her niche.
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“I knew I was going to be a ‘lifer.’ My passion for caring for the littlest and most fragile patients in the hospital captivated me,” she said.
Humann was nominated for The Bismarck Tribune’s “Nurses: The Heart of Health Care” award because of her passion for her patients in the NICU. She was nominated by Kayla Maedche and selected by a panel of judges.
“Macy is dedicated to caring for the NICU babies. She continually sacrifices weekends, evenings and holidays to ensure they are taken care of. It’s not a job or a career. It is a passion. Unconditional love and sacrifice,” Maedche said.
Working in the NICU can be both joyous and sad. The staff experience their tiny patient’s first breath, or their last. Humann tries to keep things cheery by going all out for holidays. She has a particular passion for Halloween and dressing the babies and staff in delightful costumes.
“One year the babies were sports players and cheerleaders while the nurses and providers were referees. Another year all the babies were '101 Dalmatians' and our charge nurse was Cruella! I spent several hours making costumes and even stitching tails and personalized collars onto each onesie they received,” Humann said.
Celebrating milestones is another fun occasion in the NICU.
“My absolute favorite (reward) is watching that tiny baby, who was once covered with tubes and wires, get discharged with chubby cheeks, happy and healthy. It is an incredible feeling being able to witness those miracles day in and day out,” Humann said.
New pandemic regulations were difficult in the NICU as visitors were limited to mom and a support person.
“Our patients are some of the most fragile and immunocompromised patients in the hospital. While we did not have many patients affected by COVID-19, we had to significantly adjust visitation,” Humann said.
Those restrictions have since relaxed, allowing more loved ones to enter the NICU. Despite the challenges, Humann is grateful for her role in the NICU.
“It is an incredible honor to be able to partake in these little lives. If you don’t believe in miracles, you have never experienced the NICU!” Humann exclaimed.
In her free time, Humann enjoys spending time with friends and family, taking her chocolate lab, Drake, on walks, hunting and fishing with her husband and making cakes with her mom. Humann and her husband, Cody, live in Bismarck.
“In nursing school, I tried to have an open mind about other areas, but my heart always led me back to the NICU. I believe God designed me to be a NICU nurse and He created the path to where I am today.”
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