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Featured Special Topic Course – Therapeutic Management of the Medically Complex NICU Infant: A Neonatal Therapist’s Unique Role

“Excellent presentation that provided advanced clinical reasoning for the senior therapist.” – Holly Schifsky, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBIS

Topic: Therapeutic Management of the Medically Complex NICU Infant: A Neonatal Therapist’s Unique Role

Release: Available on-demand now

Course Description: Neonatal therapists have a unique role in the care of medically complex infants in the NICU – prioritizing a focus on long term outcomes and drawing on specialized training in function and adaptation in order to determine the infant’s neurodevelopmental, postural, and sensory needs both in the NICU and during the transition to home. In level IV NICUs, neonatal therapists are challenged and tasked with the responsibility of managing the care of infants with complex surgical interventions, rare congenital disorders and difficult to manage orthopedic conditions.

Oftentimes, there is a desire for collaboration and a lack of evidence-based guidance when caring for the most rare and complex NICU infants and their families. This case report will follow the care of multiple infants from a 101 bed, Level IV NICU with complex needs, from NICU admission to discharge, as well as long term outcomes. Examples of conditions include osteogenesis imperfecta, arthrogryposis, VACTERL, omphalocele, co-joined twins, and the use of ECMO.

Clinical reasoning regarding the evaluation of highly specialized positioning needs, the employment of orthotics and custom splinting for postural support, unique considerations for handling and care, specialty car seat considerations, parental involvement, and integration of interdisciplinary support will be of focus. With each case study, a foundational focus on neuroprotective positioning and the therapeutic support of infant developmental progression is integral.

Neonatal therapists are an important part of the multifaceted approach necessary to meet the needs of intricate medical conditions. Learning and discussing the impact neonatal therapists have on the functional and safe integration of care for complex infants and their families is essential to ensure progress and specialization within the field of neonatal therapy. In addition, this case report provides neonatal therapists with the tools and information needed to advocate for the involvement of therapists in NICUs worldwide.

Speaker Bio: Michelle Hicks, OTR/L, CNT graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Occupational Therapy in 1992. She began her OT career in Acute Rehab with a focus on traumatic brain injury. Michelle currently works at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Initially Michelle treated patients all over the hospital, from 0-18 years of age. For the past 21 years, Michelle has worked specifically in the Level IV NICU. She received her designation as a Neonatal Developmental Care Specialist from NANN in 2013 and became a Certified Neonatal Therapist in 2017.

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

CE Credit: 1 hour for OT, PT, SLP

Level: Intermediate

Fee: $57 or Free for Members

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

Click here to take this course now.

“This presentation definitely provided me with some new ideas and new confidence in how we approach our most critically ill babies.” – Micah Hubbell, PT, DPT