Caring for Babies and Their Families: Frequently Asked Questions Who should take this course? We recommend that your entire NICU staff take this course, from physicians to the front desk staff. The course was designed to educate, raise awareness, and increase the skill level of your entire NICU staff regarding providing comprehensive family support for parents.
What is the goal of taking this course? This course proposes a paradigm shift: transformation of your NICU from a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, to a Neonatal Intensive Parenting Unit, where the focus is just as much on supporting the family as it is providing medical care to their baby. The ultimate goal in taking the course is to improve outcomes of babies, through strengthening the parent-baby bond. It also provides tools for how staff can themselves be supported.
How does the course achieve its goals? The course provides content that is clinically relevant, representative of Potentially Better Practices, engaging and story-driven, resource-rich, and developed by a unique collaboration of NICU professionals and NICU graduate parents. Including the “parent voice” makes the content supremely relatable, giving NICU staff the chance to “walk a mile in the shoes” of NICU parents and to better understand their anxieties, fears, and need for emotional support.
What are unique aspects of this course? There are two unique features. First is the inclusion of the “parent voice.” NICU graduate parents were involved in the original development and publication of the “Recommendations for Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents,” and their involvement has continued through every phase of this course’s creation. Graduate parents will also be responding to questions and comments in the Discussion Forum of the course. Second is that your NICU staff receives customized content specific to your NICU’s operation, should you desire to include it. What are the main content areas? The course includes seven 1-hour lessons, each available for continuing education credit. The following topics are covered:
How is the content presented? It is written narrative that is expertly punctuated with the parent voice, audio clips, and videos. (Note: Consider having ear buds or head phones available, if taking the course where other people are present.) Each lesson presents relevant information with supporting research, a list of Potentially Better Practices, trauma-informed care scripts, a “What NICU Staff Can Do” section, a summation of Key Points, and a quiz and survey for continuing education credits. The course material is supported by numerous downloads (articles, examples of protocols, lists of resources) and links to related resources.
How was this course developed? After determining a need for professional education offerings in the realm of improving caregivers’ skills of providing psychosocial support to NICU parents, this unique course was developed through collaboration among three organizations: a multidisciplinary group of professionals from the National Perinatal Association and Patient+Family Care, and NICU graduate parents from the Preemie Parent Alliance. Our team will be re-evaluating and updating the content with relevant information annually.
Why should our whole staff take this course? When the whole staff takes the course, all will improve their awareness and skill levels regarding parent support practices simultaneously, transforming your NICU. Offering the course online allows your staff flexibility to complete it on their own schedule and at their own pace. Also, staff will be able to communicate with each other and have interaction with our experts on the course’s Discussion Forum. Wouldn’tit be more cost effective for us to send a few of our staff to a national conference to gather and bring back this type of information? No. We believe it will be far more cost effective for you to train ALL of your staff within a similar time period, so that everyone learns and moves forward together.
Can we sign up for less than all seven of the lessons in the course? All seven lessons in the course are being offered together; they represent the content areas of the “Interdisciplinary Recommendations for Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents.” If you feel your NICU is already employing state-of-the-art practices in a particular course subject area, we can discuss removing that lesson for your staff. However, the course’s lessons can serve as a review, as well as a way to educate new NICU staff members as they join your team.
How is the course administered? The course is located online atcourses.mynicunetwork.com. We will track how many of your staff sign in, and their progress. We will provide progress reports, as well as a final report of staff participation. Your staff will receive periodic email reminders encouraging them to complete the course.
Once logged in, staff will have the opportunity to respond to questions posed in the Discussion Forum, and they can pose their own questions. Our experts and a parent “expert by experience” will be checking the Discussion Forums daily to answer questions and reply to comments. We can provide feedback to your nursing and medical leadership about the threads in the Discussion Forum, so you can follow up on these topics.
At this point, this course cannot be embedded into your hospital’s online learning platform. We are hoping to offer this feature in the future.
How long does it take to complete each lesson? It will take approximately one hour to complete each lesson. We offer a rich collection of audios, videos, links, and downloads, so it may take more than an hour if these options are explored.
How long will the course be available to our staff, once we start it? The course content will be available to your entire staff for a period of three months from your institution’s start date. How are continuing education credits awarded? CEUs will be awarded to nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and psychologists by the Perinatal Advisory Council: Leadership, Advocacy, Consultation (PAC/LAC). When staff pass the quiz and complete the required survey at the end of lesson, their continuing education credit for that lesson will be awarded.
What is the price of the course?
$10 per lesson/CEU for nurses and nurse practitioners for single lessons or $70 for the full course. 8 CEUs awarded to nurses for completion of the full course (1 CEU "free" if course is purchased all together).
$20 per lesson/CME for physicians, licensed clinical social workers, psychologists, and licensed marriage and family therapists, or $140 for the full course. 7 CMEs awarded to physicians, etc. for completion of the full course.
As of now, we cannot award CEUs for physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, chaplains, or respiratory therapists. These members of your staff can take the course for free along with full-paying staff members.
Volume discounts can be negotiated for NICUs with large staffs, contact us for details.
Once you determine the number of staff estimated to take the course, we will invoice you. Invoices can be paid with check, credit card, or PayPal. We require payment in full before the course is made available.
Logins by hospital staff will be monitored and you will be informed when the number of learners you have paid for have completed registration. If you have additional learners beyond that number who wish to access the course, it will be necessary to contact us to enroll the learner(s). Once additional payment is received, we will send out the registration code for them to log on to the course.
There are options available to customize course content and for us to provide consulting services on implementation the recommendations in your NICU. If selected, these services incur additional costs.See our Price ListandCustomization FAQ and Worksheet for more detailed information.
What is included in the price of the course?
Granting of CEUs, for completed lessons, for those eligible (8 CEUs available for RNs, 7 CMEs available for MDs).
Free access to your NICU staff for whom we cannot provide CEUs (only in the US).
Access to online Discussion Forum throughout the course, moderated by our experts and by a parent who is an “expert by experience.”
For learners from countries other than the US, to whom we cannot give CEUs/CMEs, we will issue a Certificate of Completion for lessons completed.
What are policies on cancellation and refunds?
After we are in possession of a signed contract by an authorized agent of the hospital and the course fees have been paid, a 50% refund of the amount paid will be given if we are in receipt of a written request to cancel at least 14 (fourteen) days prior to the scheduled start date for your NICU’s online course.
Refunds will not be given for staff members who neglect to start the course. Also, no refunds will be paid for those who start the course, but do not complete all 7 lessons included within the time frame allotted.
What about new staff hired after our course is closed? Can they take the course, too? Yes. New staff will have access to the same content, and will be able to read Discussion Forum posts. They will be able to add comments, but our Discussion Forum Moderators will no longer be active once your hospital’s initial three-month period concludes. If you want to enroll new staff after your original course is closed, it will be necessary to contact us to enroll the learner; once payment for them is received, we will send out the code for them to log on to the course.
Can the course content be customized? Yes, we can customize with materials that inform staff about your distinct NICU procedures. For example, instead of presenting our palliative care order set, we can present your institution-specific palliative care order set to further familiarize learners with your practices. Other examples of customization include informing your staff about how they can access professional resources, outlining your discharge and follow-up processes, or sharing information about your local peer-to-peer support organization. See our Customization FAQ and Worksheet to learn more about this option, for which there is an additional cost.
How is course customization accomplished? We provide a Customization FAQ and Worksheetoutlining the types of content that can be customized. One of our professionals will help you select items for customization. Then, we configure the lessons according to your specifications. After evaluation, we will provide an estimate of the cost for this process.
How should the course be launched? We have a variety of ideas and tips about how best to launch the course in your NICU. Having a clear vision for what you want to achieve with the course, and doing advance planning, will lead to much better success in staff engagement in the course. In general, the course is best launched within the context of new or ongoing Quality Improvement initiatives within your NICU. Please see our document, Steps to Launch the Course, for more details.
Do you offer help in implementing the course with our NICU staff? We can offer help in several ways by providing these “extras” upon request:
An in-person “kick-off.” One of our professional experts and a parent “expert by experience” are available to visit your NICU to provide an introductory presentation. Time is allotted for questions, answers, and discussion.
A live webinar “kick-off.” One of our professional experts and a parent “expert by experience” provide an online introductory presentation. Time is allotted for questions, answers, and discussion.
Programmatic consultation: Both a professional expert and a parent “expert by experience” will work together as a team to help your NICU staff review current policies and procedures using a quality improvement rubric, to define what changes your staff can make to improve the quality of comprehensive family support.
Implementation coaching: One of our professional experts will serve as a coach to follow-up with your staff after initially engaging in programmatic consultation. This person will support your staff through the quality improvement and change process.
Psychologist consultation: A doctoral level psychologist is available for in-person consultation with staff, which can consist of presentations, seminars, or bedside coaching. Also available for online consultation on specific issues or cases.
How will we know if the course is engaging our staff, and if they feel they’ve benefitted from it? In addition to the periodic reports made available regarding your staff’s participation and progress, we will also provide feedback from a post-course survey. This will provide information about how staff perceive changes in their understanding and skill level related to the provision of psychosocial support to NICU parents. Also, staff can review all comments posted in Discussion Forums at any time, and comments can be used as a guide for further discussions outside of the course as to what changes staff are interested in making within the NICU. We can also compile all comments and come up with Recommendations for practice improvement specifically for your NICU based on the comments.
Are there any special technical requirements for taking the course online? The course will only be available on our website. You will need to verify, before the course start date, that network settings will allow users access while at the hospital. Also, some content includes audio and videos that appear on other websites. Accessibility to all content should be tested in advance. Staff will also be able to access the course on devices outside the hospital, on their own time: via pc, laptops, or tablets. The course is not optimized for display on smart phones.
Can I preview the content? Yes. Please send an email to email@example.com if you would like a "Sneak Peek" preview. Also please see our Course Content document to learn more. References related to course development: Hall, SL, and MT Hynan, eds. 2015. “Interdisciplinary Recommendations for the Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents.” Journal of Perinatology 35: Supplement.
Hall, SL, MT Hynan, and R Phillips. 2016. “Transforming NICU Care to Provide Comprehensive Family Support.” Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews 16:69–73. https://doi.org/doi:10.1053/j.nainr.2016.03.008.
Hall, SL, MT Hynan, R Phillips, S Lassen, JW Craig, E Goyer, R Hatfield, and H Cohen. 2017. “The Neonatal Intensive Parenting Unit (NIPU): An Introduction.” Journal of Perinatology epub ahead of print. https://doi.org/doi: 10.1038/jp.2017.108. Sanders, MR, and SL Hall. 2017. “Trauma-Informed Care in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit: Promoting Safety, Security, and Connectedness.” Journal of Perinatology epub ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1038/jp.2017.124. 6/26/18 Download our informational worksheets below.