Background Newborn Life Support (NLS) course caters to the training needs of professionals who attend newborn resuscitation. NLS course is based on the physiological changes around the time of birth and focuses on airway techniques and the newborn resuscitation algorithm.
The need for a course beyond NLS that covers practical aspects of management of common neonatal emergencies has been widely recognised. Furthermore with the evolution of neonatal networks and centralisation of care with dedicated transfer teams, concerns have been raised about the loss of skill and confidence amongst staff especially at smaller hospitals. In order to facilitate ongoing education and to address such concerns, an outreach education programme called NEST has been piloted by our neonatal transfer service (NTS).
Objectives To bridge the gap in the training needs for neonatal professionals by creating a training course for the management of common neonatal emergencies.
Methods This program uses a pedagogic approach to the management of common neonatal emergencies in a multidisciplinary team. Varying educational methods such as lectures, facilitated simulation and communication exercises, case discussions and workshops were used. Participants were given a pre and post course standardised questionnaire. These questions were in the form of free text on the relevance, applicability and improvement; Likert scale questions on aspects of knowledge, skills and confidence.
Results The program was run at four locations in which 80 professionals (5 consultants, 20 junior ST, 15 senior ST trainees and 40 nursing staff) participated. As compared to the pre course score, a mean 8 point improvement was seen in the post course evaluation. All participants expressed that the course was relevant and applicable to their clinical work.
Conclusion We have shown that a practical course beyond the level of NLS can be delivered with good uptake. Provisional results show a subjective improvement in the participant's knowledge, skills and confidence. Further implementation, evaluation and standardisation of such a course is recommended.