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International Member Spotlight

The world gets a lot smaller when we share our passion for neonatal therapy, successes, challenges, projects, and goals. Meet one of your international colleagues below. We can relate on so many levels!

Name: Jo Egan McGuckin, MISCP, CORU, PT, NTMTC
Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist – Neonatology-Paediatrics

Place of Employment: National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

Years of Experience: 25 years

I have worked at the National Maternity Hospital Dublin Ireland since 2006. In my time here the role of physiotherapy in NICU has developed. I work as a clinical specialist neonatal physiotherapist. We have a 35-bed level 3 NICU.

Specialty or Areas of Interest: Neonatal assessment, early detection and intervention – particularly in NICU and in the first year post discharge.

Developmentally supportive neuroprotective family involved care. The sensory world of the neonate and supporting sensory motor development through therapeutic interventions in NICU.

I’m a huge fan of the benefits of responsive parental touch and kangaroo care and massage in the NICU!

What do you love most about your job? I love witnessing and shaping the unfurling neuro sensory motor development of our infants in NICU and the expressions of individuality and personalities of the infants as they grow.

Out team has grown in recent years, now with a new compliment of neonatal therapists, allied health professionals, nursing, and medical colleagues we have a dynamic energetic team, and we are embarking on several new innovative projects that will improve and shape the future of families that pass through our Irish NICUs. It’s an exciting and challenging time to be part of a change in delivery of services in NICU in Ireland. I love our team; I feel I am always learning from my colleagues and the infants and families I meet.

Your greatest challenge at work and/or your latest project? My greatest challenge is doing it all in the hours that I have! We continue to be understaffed in our physiotherapy roles in NICU in Ireland. Change is slow. I get impatient!

Another challenge is switching gears to slow down and be present and intentional when I’m cot side with families to make sure I meet them where they are at in their journey no matter what meeting or prior engagement I have come from. And then there is the fact that despite some staffing increases we just don’t have enough therapists on our NICU, so delivery of equitable effective therapy assessments and interventions for all infants that need it is a challenge.

Current projects – developmental rounding in NICU, listening touch massage protocol for our NICU, developing a parent programme for NICU, and development of a post discharge early intervention programme for families of high-risk infants, early detection of cerebral palsy in Ireland project.

Please reach out to NANT to request Jo’s contact information if you’re interested in connecting further.

I am a Member of NANT because
I want to be the best I can be and learn from the best. I have benefitted from the support, education, mentoring, story sharing of those who are further ahead in this journey than I through my Membership with NANT.