NICU “Graduates” Find Extra Help at Good Shepherd
Thu, 12/06/2012 - 12:14pm | Connie Koch, RN, BSN
Even after receiving the vital and focused care of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), some infants can benefit from inpatient rehabilitation as part of a successful transition home. Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Unit offers the attention and assistance needed for NICU graduates and newborns with medically-complex conditions and their families to make a safe, less stressful and more prepared transition to home. Specialized programs include the feeding and complex respiratory programs.
The Biggest Challenges in the Smallest Patients
For these patients to acquire age-appropriate skills, they need to learn how to react to these various stimuli and situations positively. Therefore, Good Shepherd’s clinical team members strive to create a pleasant experience when introducing new sensory input or new positions and activities that assist these infants in gaining crucial developmental skills that may be delayed.
Initially, treatments are limited to the patient’s room under low lighting with silence or low, soothing music. Methodically scheduled interventions in small increments of time and creating a patient-specific environment are a large part of the care. As infants show increased tolerance, therapies may be moved to another room with normal lighting and auditory toys. Activities eventually can occur in a more communal area within the unit, which facilitates socialization and developmental skills.
Positive outcomes from inpatient pediatric rehabilitation include:
In those first months of life, it may take several phases of care for a child to reach optimal outcomes and the best possible future. Good Shepherd’s Pediatric Unit is proud to fill the gap between the NICU and a newborn’s successful transition home.