Neonatal Therapists are Blooming Across the Globe: One Therapist’s Journey

By Author and Interviewer: NANT Member, Christy Gliniak OTR/L, CNT, CPXP | 1 comments

Have you ever wondered what neonatal therapy looks like abroad? How our NICU practices might differ and what challenges we have in common?

Meet NANT Member, Judita Dovydenaite, a neonatal therapist from Lithuania. As a pioneer of neonatal therapy in her country, her story is nothing short of inspiring.

The Journey:

Judita started her journey as an occupational therapy student at Vilnius University, in the Faculty of Medicine. Prior to her graduation from the bachelor’s program in 2013, she discovered the specialization of neonatal therapy through an American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) publication. This discovery sparked several conversations with her faculty professors, the department heads of early intervention, and chair of neonatology. These important stakeholders, holding an affinity for Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) principles and some exposure to neonatal therapy in the United States, partnered with Judita, allowing her to join their team. Judita expressed her deep gratitude for their acceptance and collaboration as it was daunting to join a group of such experienced NICU professionals.

Judita’s tremendous persistence and dedication led to a master’s degree in 2016 and a yearlong unpaid internship at the Children’s Hospital, affiliated with Vilnius University in Santaros, Klinikosfor. There she received her clinical mentoring by neonatologists, NICU nurses, and a developmental pediatrician. As part of her thesis, Judita completed research related to feeding and the use of oral stimulation with preterm infants. Currently, she is working with her team to change feeding culture and to promote consistent use of Infant-Driven Feeding concepts in the future.

The Commitment to Growth

Ms. Dovydenaite continually seeks advanced…click here to continue reading

One comment to “Neonatal Therapists are Blooming Across the Globe: One Therapist’s Journey

  • I so appreciate all the therapist who continue to pursue excellence for all the babies and families in the NICU. The hard road is so worth it and the struggle is real. Thanks to all the therapist who do this across the world.

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