Skip to Main Content

++

Introduction

++

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a technologically advanced setting that provides services to infants who require highly specialized services. Infants who are served in the NICU are at high risk both medically and developmentally, requiring a team approach to their complex care. Physical therapists who work in the NICU provide examination, evaluation, and intervention to these high-risk infants. NICU care is a specialized area within pediatric physical therapy, involving a different approach than that used in other types of pediatric settings. Due to the physiological, medical, and developmental issues facing infants in the NICU, physical therapists working in the NICU require pediatric experience and advanced training (Sweeney, Heriza, & Blanchard, 2009). Advanced training is necessary to safely provide services to these fragile infants and their families. This chapter provides a basic overview of service delivery in the NICU. Further study is required for physical therapists wishing to work in a NICU, especially the most intensive level III nursery.

++

Infants Served

++

The NICU serves infants with a variety of diagnoses. Infants admitted to the NICU are born both preterm and full-term. Infants who show signs of central nervous system (CNS) impairment, specific neuromuscular or orthopedic problems, multiple medical or genetic problems, abnormal feeding behaviors, and other symptoms that put infants at risk for developmental problems are often referred to physical therapy in the NICU (McCarton, Wallace, Divon, & Vaughn, 1996; Taylor, Klein, Schatschneider, & Hack, 1998) (Table 15.1).

++
Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 15.1Premature birth:Low birth weight:Very low birth weight:Small for gestational age (SGA):Large for gestational age (LGA):Microcephaly:Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy:Genetic syndromes and diseases:Compromised respiration:Persistent feeding problems:Seizure disorder:Amniotic band syndrome:Myelomeningocele:

Common Diagnoses of Infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

++

Full-term infants are those ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.

Ok

About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.