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Special Topic Course: Use of the Transdisciplinary Model to Facilitate Parent Engagement and Team Collaboration in the NICU.

Speakers: Melissa Hanin, MS, OT/L
Kelly Susey, MPT, CNT

Topic: Use of the Transdisciplinary Model to Facilitate Parent Engagement and Team Collaboration in the NICU.

Course Description: Collaboration between multiple specialties and disciplines is necessary to provide comprehensive care for infants with complex conditions, and to also address the many needs of the families. Team models can direct team approaches in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with many units performing from a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary approach. Both of these approaches include team members working within their traditional disciplinary scope of practice with some collaboration towards goals, yet clinical issues are still assigned by discipline. Transdisciplinary teams integrate the patient and family as integral members of the team, jointly responsible for identifying the primary issue or goal. This model of care has been shown to be effective in improving patient and caregiver satisfaction of care in non-NICU settings, and provides a framework for addressing medical and developmental complexity by working together towards a family-developed primary goal. In this model, it is the responsibility of each of the team member to use their specialized training to contribute to the amelioration of the identified problem. However, one of the challenges to this model of teamwork in the NICU is the consistent communication that is required of all caregivers, and the flexibility between various disciplines to allow for some overlap of skills. The Comprehensive Center for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (CCBPD) program at Nationwide Hospital has embarked on a quality improvement process to improve communication, and to measure staff and parent satisfaction during steps taken towards a transdisciplinary model. Both parents and staff have reported an improved satisfaction with the teamwork provided by all caregivers, and have a positive perception of the process. It is our hope that by sharing what we have learned from our families throughout our team evolution, the information can help other NICU’s that care for highly complex and long term patients, and that they may consider the possibilities transdisciplinary care may offer to their team structure.

Speaker Bio: Melissa Hanin, MS, OT/L has been an occupational therapist in the NICU for 16 years at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and has experienced the remarkable growth of neonatal therapy firsthand. Melissa has contributed to tool development and publication of the Behavioral Signs of Respiratory Instability (BSRI), published a retrospective study on bottle feeding infants with BPD on nasal CPAP, and has spoken on multiple topics at the Annual Gravens Conference on the Environment of Care for High Risk Newborns and at the AOTA annual conference. Over the past decade she has focused on multiple NICU quality improvement projects, and is currently participating in multi-center research as well as contributing to development of comprehensive measurement tools for infants with severe BPD.
Melissa is excited to continue with her clinical career, and as a Developmental Coordinator for the Comprehensive Center for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (CCBPD) along with Kelly Susey. Melissa resides in Bexley, Ohio with her husband and two kids.

Kelly Susey, MPT, CNT is a Physical Therapist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Certified Neonatal Therapist. She has been fortunate to be a part of ongoing growth and development from a 45 bed NICU, to 130 beds unit over the past 16 years. Included in that number, are 24 beds that specialize in the care of infants with moderate and severe BPD. It has been her passion to improve short and long term abilities in this unique population. Kelly has contributed to several publications highlighting the Comprehensive Center for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (CCBPD) program, which includes the development of the Behavioral Signs of Respiratory Instability scale (BSRI). Her quality improvement efforts have recently been focused on supporting neuroregulatory skills of the most unstable BPD patients, integrating 2 person support with each care during critical periods of medication and respiratory weaning. She and Melissa Hanin, OT also serve as Developmental Coordinators for the CCBPD program, and are excited about the recent implementation of a Transdisciplinary model of care. Kelly is married, has 2 teenage daughters, and resides in Galena, OH.

0 – 19 min: Literature review of team models of care
19 – 33 min: Neonatal therapist role and practice principles for transdisciplinary model
33 – 55 min: Quality Improvement and Outcome measures
55 – 60 min: Learning Assessment

Melissa Hanin, MS, OT/L
Financial Disclosures: No relevant disclosures.
Nonfinancial disclosures: No relevant disclosures.

Kelly Susey, MPT, CNT
Financial Disclosures: No relevant disclosures.
Nonfinancial disclosures: No relevant disclosures.

Conflict of Interest: There is no conflict of interest for anyone with the ability to control content for this activity.

Target Audience: OT, SLP, PT, RN, MD and Neonatal professionals

Level: Intermediate


  1. Explain two ways to empower and engage family members during their NICU experience.
  2. Identify two difficult psychosocial outcomes that can occur in parents and/or NICU graduates following a preterm delivery.
  3. Describe two community resources available to families designed to support development or psychosocial needs following NICU discharge.

Instructional Method: Recorded webinar with lecture, videos, case studies, interview and handouts. Learning assessment and course evaluation follow course.

Course Completion Requirements: The learner must view the entire webinar, complete the course evaluation and complete the post webinar learning assessment with at least 80% to receive education credit. Login and logout times will be recorded and documented.
Following completion of this course physical therapists, nurses and other disciplines will receive a certificate of completion and a zip file containing information necessary to submit to their individual state for education credit. Zip file will include course bibliography. Physical therapists are responsible for knowing and adhering to their state’s deadlines, rules and regulations.

Registration information:

In order to obtain access to the course, click the “Register now” button at the bottom of the screen. You are required to be a NANT member in good standing to have access to this course. You may also purchase this courses as a non-member by clicking the “Buy Now” button at the bottom of the screen.

For ADA accommodations, please call NANT Customer Service for more information at (866) 999-5524.

Cancellation Policy: Click HERE to review NANT’s Course Cancellation Policy.


Continuing Education Information*


AOTA CEUs: National Association of Neonatal Therapists® (NANT) is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. This Distance-Learning Independent Course is offered at 0.1 CEUs (Intermediate level, Occupational Therapy Service Delivery & Professional Issues). AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.

ASHA CEUs: Learners must complete the entire course in order to receive ASHA CEUs. No partial credit awarded. ASHA CE Provider approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures.
ASHA CE Registry users: NANT will submit your ASHA CEU credit to ASHA on your behalf. ASHA CEUs may take up to 100 days to appear on your ASHA Transcript.

Non-ASHA CE Registry users: Maintain your course records and please keep your registry status current in your NANT account. Update your NANT account with your ASHA number if your registry status changes. NANT is not responsible for tracking your registry usage.

PT CE Credit: This activity has been approved by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 1.0 CCUs for PTs and PTAs.

NANT is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Physical Therapy as an approved provider of physical therapy and physical therapist assistant continuing education.

* If you attended this presentation at NANT 9, you can still receive CE Credit by completing this online version.

Questions regarding CE credit should be directed to the National Association of Neonatal Therapists at or (866) 999-5524.

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