Thursday, July 12, 2007
This presentation is part of : Child and Adolescent Healthcare Issues
Parent Discharge Classes in the Neonatal ICU
Maria Thillet, BSN, Allyn Peters, MBA/HCM, RN, BSN, and Carole Thomas, RN. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, USA
Learning Objective #1: Discuss ways that parent discharge classes ease the transition to home.
Learning Objective #2: Identify a goal of parent discharge classes.

PROBLEM STATEMENT: Parents often feel overwhelmed with the discharge process in the NICU especially when most of the teaching is done on the day of discharge. 


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Parents of infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are invited to attend parent education classes designed to help them with the understanding of premature infant behavior, parenting their sick/preterm in the NICU and preparing to take their baby home.  First Steps class is offered within the first 2 weeks of life, offering information on skin to skin, gavage feeds and enriching the experience, to swaddling bathing your baby.  The Getting Closer class should be taken when the baby is nippling at least one feeding per day or when extubated. It includes information on car seats, using the bulb syringe, taking your baby’s temperature, beginning the transition process to home.  Homeward Bound is recommended about one to two weeks prior to discharge and includes information on how to tell signs and symptoms of a sick infant and when to call the pediatrician, poison control information, ages and stages in infant development and many other topics. 

RESULTS: All families found the sessions to be very helpful. Most reported that all the classes provided helpful information to better prepare them in caring for their infants.  Many stated that the information made them feel like they were better prepared to take their baby home.  Most would also recommend the program to other families. 


IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:  Parent Discharge Classes offer a way to ease the discharge process by preparing families before the day of discharge on how to recognize behavioral cues, know when to call the pediatrician, etc.  This not only makes the process easier for families, but the nursing staff as well.