Submission Date

7-20-2018

Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Department

Health & Exercise Physiology

Faculty Mentor

Catherine van de Ruit

Comments

Presented during the 20th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 20, 2018 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a high risk medical department vulnerable to adverse events. The NICU is for newborn babies who are in need of intensive medical care. Around-the-clock care is provided to premature or sick infants. NICUs can vary in level depending on the newborns’ needs. Unfamiliar sights, sounds, and equipment in the NICU (such as feeding tubes, monitors, and ventilators) can be overwhelming for the parents. Infants in an NICU likely have a weakened immune system and are at increased risk for developing serious complications if infected by bacteria; this is why patient safety measures are extremely vital. Gaps in research have been recognized both in understanding threats to safety within the NICU as well as patient and parent aspects including education and emotional support systems. By undertaking qualitative techniques including observations and phone interviews, this study sets out to understand nurse perceptions of patient safety risks and challenges in the NICU. Overall, the unique aspects and the complexity of the neonatal intensive (NICU) environment make this research vital for the infants, families, and medical personnel.

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