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

“Very informative and filled with great information to take back to our multi, or transdisciplinary team!” – Audrey Vasquez, PT, DPT

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

Course Title: 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.

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

Level: Intermediate

CE Credit: PT, OT, SLP – 1 hour

Fee: $57 or Free for Members


  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.

“Thank you for reminding us of the value of a transdisciplinary approach, and the value of listening.” – Dana Denton, MPT, NTMC

“I appreciated the perspective of making developmental goals part of everyone’s responsibility.” – Danika Anaya, PT, DPT, PCS, NTMTC

Click here to take this course, access speaker bios, and learn more.