The National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) is an organization created specifically for neonatal occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists. NANT provides multiple ways for neonatal therapists to connect, learn, mentor and inspire while advancing this focused field of therapy on a national level.
By Sue Ludwig April 21, 2015
“If you're going to be inspired by anyone, be inspired by people who have been exactly where you are now.” ― Douglas Copeland
I’ve learned so much about the ‘field of neonatal therapy’ by leading NANT Members during 5 years of Inner Circle Mentoring Calls and Special Topic Calls, and reading thousands of your emails. I’ve learned from those of you with decades of knowledge and experience as you contribute to the conversation, mentoring others as you go.
And I’ve learned that there are hundreds (thousands?) of you that have zero access to an in-person mentor and yet are expected to ‘cover’ the NICU or many times charged with developing a neonatal therapy program.
In a nutshell, there’s a huge gap between what is expected of a neonatal therapist and the resources available to confidently and competently fulfill that expectation.
This specialized field has developed deep roots over the past 30-40 years. Some therapists were fortunate to have incredible mentors that provided foundational and ongoing training as well as inspiration to make the NICU a better place for fragile, developing patients. (You met many of those Pioneers at the NANT Conference this year!)
Other therapists have not been so fortunate. This discrepancy first became apparent to me years ago as I consulted in NICUs all over the US. Some NICUs had a highly evolved neonatal therapy team while others had none. Some had access to a non-specialized therapist that could ‘come over to the NICU’ if needed.
Patients and their families deserve better. And so do you.
While NANT Members devour their on-demand and real-time benefits, that need for comprehensive foundational knowledge and training remained. As I stated here, you’ve been shouting out into the void. Until now.
The IGNITE Program fills the gap, reaches out to you in the void, and provides you with mentors that have been exactly where you are and know precisely how to build a thriving neonatal therapy presence and practice. Simply stated, the IGNITE mentors know their stuff – from entry level foundational knowledge to industry changing clinical research and best practice - they know it.
The best part is, it doesn’t matter where you live (we received an inquiry from a PT in Oman last week about IGNITE!), or whether or not you have in-person access to the mentor of your dreams. Our goal is to raise the foundational level of knowledge and training of new(er) neonatal therapists all over the globe. And why not? Babies everywhere deserve this level of care and neonatal OTs, PTs, and SLPs (and NICU directors) deserve to feel confident in their services.
It’s a whole new world.
By Sue Ludwig April 14, 2015