09:44pm Sunday 29 March 2020

Parents Play Key Role in Child’s ICU Care in New Program

A new, advanced-practice neonatal nurse practitioner specialty at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing will educate students in a new model of care. The model forms a critical partnership with parents through the use of information sharing, decision-making and care, making parents an integral part of the team.

UIC received a $1.15 million, three-year federal grant to develop a new curriculum that will be incorporated into its doctorate of nursing practice program. The curriculum will better prepare nurses to treat infants within the framework of patient and family-centered care, particularly those in community-based referral centers serving rural and medically underserved areas.

“Patient and family-centered care is a strategy to improve patient safety and patient outcomes, as well as patient, family and staff satisfaction,” said Rosemary White-Traut, professor and head of the department of women, child and family health science, and the grant’s principal investigator.

“It is based upon four principles: dignity and respect, information sharing, participation in care, and collaboration.”

Recent recommendations from the Institute of Medicine support changes in the education of health care providers to ensure they have the essential attitudes, knowledge and skills to partner with families, White-Traut said, and one critical area is in patient and family-centered care.

“Unfortunately, the health care system has failed to provide that treatment to newborn infants and their families,” she said.

Five new courses, to be taught online and through distance-learning by videoconferencing, will be developed for nursing students at UIC and its four regional campuses (Rockford, Quad Cities, Urbana and Peoria). One of the courses will be devoted entirely to patient and family-centered care.

Twenty-four graduate nursing students from UIC and its Urban Health Program will be selected for the new curriculum, White-Traut said. The UIC Urban Health Program, created in 1978, recruits and supports students from groups underrepresented in the health professions, specifically African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, who want to practice in medically underserved areas, she said.

During the three years of the grant, 24 clinical sites will be selected for students to learn and practice. The sites will be part of community-based medical centers serving as referral sites from rural areas, intensive care units, long-term care organizations, medical center systems and outpatient developmental clinics.

A unique part of the new curriculum is the establishment of an advisory board that will provide counsel on projected trends in patient and family-centered care in neonatal services, White-Traut said.

The board will be comprised of parents of high-risk infants, patients who have been treated and released from neonatal intensive care units, and parents whose children have been treated multiple times in neonatal intensive care units. It will also include UIC faculty, neonatalogists, community leaders, UIC’s patient safety office, and hospital executives from regional sites.

The advisory board will collaborate in the development of the courses, White-Traut said.

The grant is funded by the Health Resources and Services Act, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information about UIC, visit www.uic.edu.

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