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Special Topic Course – Oral Feedings On Respiratory Devices: Picking Apart The Controversy

Managing the delicate intersection of respiratory demands and the transition to oral feeding in the NICU continues to be fraught with inconsistency, confusion, and even controversy.

Since we must provide individualized and risk-adjusted care, there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer. However, we hope you’ll find this online course helpful as your NICU delves into this topic based on the population you serve.

Set aside a time that works for you and take this *.5 CE Hour Course online. (CE for OT, PT, SLP, RN)

Course Title: Oral Feedings on Respiratory Devices: Picking Apart the Controversy

Course Description: This course aims to educate the audience about the finely coordinated, rhythmical and reciprocal interrelationship between the swallowing and breathing processes. Videos and pictures will emphasize how these two processes are physiologically and biomechanically reciprocal events, due to shared anatomic structures, muscular components, sensory receptors and brainstem control.

This lecture will discuss how respiratory illness can negatively affect swallowing function from a physiological standpoint, but also how respiratory illness can affect a general mealtime from a synactive theory approach. A brief overview of various respiratory devices will be provided to increase the audience’s understanding of how their use may create a challenge for neonatal professionals who must juggle medical with developmental outcomes. Evidence-based recommendations will be offered, along with interprofessional strategies to elicit change within a NICU.

Speaker: Louisa Ferrara, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, CNT

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

Level: Intermediate


1. Describe the anatomy and physiology of both the swallowing and breathing mechanisms to gain improved understanding of the precise interconnection between these two acts.

2. Discuss prevalence of neonatal respiratory disease and how respiratory illness affects mealtime success.

3. Report on recent research findings related to neonatal swallowing safety while on respiratory devices.

Instructional Method: Recorded webinar, lecture, animations, videos, pictures, schematics and handouts. Learning assessment and course evaluation follow course.

Click here to learn more and/or enroll.

Course Fee: FREE to NANT Members and $37 for non-members.

*Note: Contact hours reflect the minimum number of hours or continuing education credit awarded per course. Actual number may vary by discipline and accreditation body. Please refer to each course description and the Certificate of Completion for more details.

NEW! Four brand new courses (including the above) have been added to NANT’s Learning Hub as of October 15th. Click here to view all Special Topic Courses. At a minimum, Members receive a 10% discount for online education, and to date, have free access to over $400 worth of courses.

The more knowledge you have, the better team member and advocate you become. Babies and families need informed and collaborative caregivers. Let’s use education to build bridges rather than silos.