During my years as a national consultant, I noted that while some NICUs had robust and deeply experienced neonatal therapy (OT, PT, SLP) teams, others had none. Alternately, some therapists were told to just ‘cover’ the NICU without being properly trained or mentored in age-appropriate care. And here’s the thing: if I was a parent sitting at the bedside of my fragile 2 pound daughter, and a therapist began seeing her, I would completely assume that the therapist was specially trained to work in such a unique environment. In the early-mid 2000s, I couldn’t swear that was the case, not consistently, not all over the U.S. or all over the world. Neonatal therapists are a highly professional, passionate, and driven group of people. I knew we could do (and wanted to do) better. It started to keep me up at night.
What happened from that moment until the official founding of NANT in October of 2009 is a longer story for another time.
For now, know this: the work you do as a neonatal therapist is life-altering. Your work positively affects the trajectory of a baby’s development for a lifetime. In order to advance this specialty clinically, scientifically, and academically, you need reliable resources and a community of people who truly understand what you do for a living. You also need to be sustained personally, yes, personally. Why? Because WHO YOU ARE as you put your hands inside the portholes of the incubator matters to the tiny person who is on the receiving end of you.
NANT is designed to support you professionally and personally. It is an honor and a privilege to serve you.