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Nov 10, 2016

Nursing Conference Discusses Developmental Care of the Newborn

Nurses engaged in both the public and private health systems are meeting in Belize City to discuss the many ways in which they can provide improved neonatal care. The conference is aptly called Developmental Care of the Newborn. For two days, the nurses will look at the range of conditions that affect newborns, including premature babies who need special care to develop. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Day one of a two-day nursing conference commenced at the Radisson in Belize City. It’s an annual exercise used to look at the roles of nurses in the health system and bringing them up to speed with techniques and processes in providing quality healthcare. Over one hundred and forty nurses from across the country from both the private and public sector converged in the Old Capital for the workshop which comprises of a theoretical and a practical session.


Augustina Elijio

Augustina Elijio, Chief Nursing Officer/Deputy DHS

“Our nurses, especially for those who work in that environment need to be abreast, they need to be knowledgeable and they will also need to teach the parents how you care for these newborns. It is also from this newborn care that the quality of life will need to indicate what quality of life this newborn will have. Within the facility where we are at right now, at this conference, you will not only find neonatal nurses being there, but you will also find nurses from all levels and all categories. So when you look at the public health nurses, very key for the public health nurses—just an example—to be aware with the development of the newborn and how to see what is normal from abnormal and what type of care that person or that neonate will need to have.”


“Developmental Care of the Newborn;” that’s the theme for the conference this year. And according to Chief Nursing Officer and Deputy Director of Health Services, Augustina Elijio, quality healthcare is essential from when a baby is born and follows through their development to adult years.


Augustina Elijio

“It is very timely and fitting because life begins from the uterus. And from the uterus to the external environment, the newborn makes a transition and we need to ensure that that transition is at its optimal. We look at newborn and premature infants who would not have the ability to function as a full-term and might need the care of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”


The complications surrounding premature infants and their care are similar, across the world. Proper nutrition, the positioning of babies and oxygen-use are some of the many strategies that can be used to prevent disabilities for the babies. Several development specialists from the U.S. have been brought in to impart these best practice knowledge to local medical practitioners.


Shari Weiss

Shari Weiss, NICU Nurse, Phoenix Arizona

“They are learning about nutrition and how the effects of oxygen can affect premature infants, negatively. They will also be learning about grief and loss and how to work with families in the NICU.”


Patty Sterner, NICU Nurse, Newark, Pennsylvania

“I’m going to be talking about developmental care and also about families and their care and the neonatal intensive care unit and also about the importance of positioning and preventing problems in the future with these little tiny babies.”


Patty Sterner

Shari Weiss

“We are not a hundred percent sure…we don’t think that anybody is doing anything wrong. I think what we found in our unit when we became development specialist is that we could position our babies in better positions to help them from a developmental standpoint and that we can change the environment to make it more like the womb in order to help protect the baby’s brains. Preparing for this conference, I learned even more about nutrition and effect nutrition on developing premie brains and their bones for future and then how the risk of too much oxygen is detrimental to baby’s brains. It may not sound that it sound like it would be but it can actually hurt their lungs and their eyes for their development down the road.”


Day-two of the workshop will feature practical activities at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial hospital. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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