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New Course Release: Clinical Bedside Feeding Assessments in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

A thorough, online, peer-reviewed, neonatal therapy-focused bedside clinical feeding assessment course has been missing from our community – until now.

Course Authors and Presenters
Louisa Ferrara-Gonzalez, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, CNT, NTMTC
Jenny Reynolds, MS, CCC-SLP, CNT, BCS-S, CLC

Course Description
This 14.5-hour course will provide all neonatal therapists with foundational knowledge to complete a comprehensive, clinical bedside feeding and swallowing evaluation in a systematic and evidence-based way. Building on these competencies, this course will emphasize the importance of the whole-child and how to capture the complexities of the infant/family’s needs while in the neonatal ICU. This course will highlight all the interactions and synergies that greatly contribute to the overall growth and success of the infant and family. Finally, this course will provide neonatal therapists a way to not only evaluate the infant, but to empower caregivers to effectively and safely feed their infants.

5 Instructional Modules:
The course is delivered through recorded lectures, videos, case studies, and handouts. A learning assessment follows each module along with a course evaluation.

  • Module 1: Feeding in the NICU Begins at Day of Life # 1
  • Module 2: Anatomy, Physiology, Neurology and Development of the Aerodigestive Mechanism
  • Module 3: Assessing the “Whole Infant” and Non-Nutritive Sucking
  • Module 4: Assessing the Bottle Feeding
  • Module 5: Assessing the Breastfeeding

CE Credit
Continuing education approved by AOTA, ASHA, & for Physical Therapy though the states of Texas and New York.

Target Audience
OT, SLP, PT and neonatal professionals


Overall Course Objectives
1. Demonstrate knowledge and discern appropriate use of age- appropriate formal and informal assessment options for bottle feeding and breastfeeding.

2. Summarize the ways we use a Whole-Infant Approach to feeding assessments.

3. Identify how an infant’s anatomy, physiology, and neurology may affect their assessment during a bottle or breastfeeding.

4. Demonstrate strategies to interact with, empower, and support caregivers in the NICU.

Click here to learn more and enroll.