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- Go to article: Incorporating Best Practices and Evidence-Based Learning Strategies into NICU Nurse Residency Programs
Critical thinking is the hallmark of today’s nursing practice environment. Nowhere is this more critical than in the high-tech environment of the NICU. Despite the importance of critical thinking in nursing practice, there is limited information on the process of teaching new NICU nurses to think critically. Based on the principles of adult education, orientation and continuing education for NICU nurses should be goal directed, build on the learner’s prior experience, and build in opportunities for active participation, reflection, and experiential learning. This article reviews the principles of adult education and their application to the process of teaching critical thinking in the NICU. One unit’s experience of critical thinking education is used to provide concrete examples of how NICU education can be transformed from a traditional didactic methodology to a more dynamic experiential approach.
Numerous organizations have called for significant changes in education for health care professionals. The call has included the need to incorporate evidence-based as well as innovative strategies. Previous articles in this column have focused primarily on evidence-based teaching strategies, including concept mapping, brain-based learning strategies, methods of competency assessment, and so forth. This article shifts the focus to new ways of thinking about knowledge and education. The article will also introduce evolving, innovative, less commonly used learning strategies and provide a peek into the future of learning.
Simulations are experiential learning opportunities during which participants can learn new information, as well as have the opportunity to apply previous knowledge. While hands-on learning has been incorporated into NRP and similar training for some time, simulation-based learning is increasingly being utilized in new and varied situations. This article begins with a general overview of simulation, along with a brief review of the historical background of mannequins and simulation. This is followed by several mini-articles describing how the authors have applied simulated-based activities to promote learning. The article concludes with a look at the potential future of simulation-based education.
- Go to article: The Golden Hour: Care of the LBW Infant During the First Hour of Life One Unit’s Experience
Care practices during the first hour of life, the Golden Hour, can have a significant impact on outcomes of low birth weight infants. Although the latest edition of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program added guidelines for preterm infants, additional care is often indicated. Complications that could potentially be impacted by care in the first hour of life include thermoregulation, intraventricular hemorrhage, chronic lung disease, and retinopathy of prematurity. Our unit has implemented and revised a Golden Hour evidence-based care process that includes the use of realistic videotaped simulations, followed by team debriefing sessions. Early results of the revised process show reductions in the targeted complications.