This course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge base to be able to successfully enter into a formal mentoring program to learn the hands-on skills to practice safely and effectively in the NICU environment. Because physical therapy practice in the NICU environment is not considered entry level practice by the Section on Pediatrics (APTA), students are strongly advised to complete a formal mentoring process on NICU practice before working in the NICU.
Following completion of course, the student will be able to:
– Discuss the theoretical basis and the evidence-based outcomes for therapeutic services in the NICU
– Identify typical terminology, equipment, roles of team members and common abbreviations used in the NICU
– Identify common self-regulation signals displayed by premature infants
– Describe the different state behaviors displayed by premature infants
– Discuss typical motor and sensory development observed in premature infants.
– Discuss various factors which impact the epidemiology of premature births
– Discuss the pathophysiology of common medical diagnoses found in the NICU, the outcome of these diagnoses and potential impact a therapeutic management/treatment intervention may have with the infant and family/caregiver
– Discuss and recognize evidence-based research and clinical application for therapeutic evaluation, assessment and intervention in the NICU
– Discuss and identify the various components of a physical evaluation and examination of a premature infant and their family during their NICU stay
– Recognize valid and reliable standardized testing tools available for assessment with an infant in the NICU environment
– Provide rationale for selection of a therapeutic intervention with an infant and their family/caregiver while in the NICU
– Provide evidence-based thoughts and comments for recommendations of follow up care of an infant and family/caregiver after discharge from the NICU.