The Emotional Impact of a NICU Stay:

Promoting Positive Coping and Parenting Skills Among NICU Families

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    Parents of infants in the NICU experience a spectrum of emotions from hour to hour, day to day and week to week. As caregivers in the NICU, it is essential that we are aware of the normal and abnormal expressions of these emotions, and have practical interventions to support parents through this stressful and life-changing time in their lives. As healthcare professionals we have a responsibility to help those in our care to transition from sickness to health and to sustain their dignity and integrity. In this presentation we get the chance to hear from a parent who experienced the NICU twice and has now transitioned from NICU parent to NICU ambassador. This first hand account of one parents experience provides lessons as you care for infants and parents in your NICU today.

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    Learning Objective:

    1. Describe the range of emotional reactions that may be exhibited by parents of an infant in the NICU
    2. List at least one way that NICU staff can promote positive coping and parenting skills among NICU parents
    3. List two strategies to support emotionally distressed NICU parents, whether they are moms or dads

Kelli Kelly

Founder of A Hand to Hold

Kelli Kelley is the mother of two children born preterm – Jackson Thomas born at 24 weeks in 2000 and Lauren Elizabeth born at 34 weeks in 2003. As the Founder and Executive Director of Hand to Hold, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and support for NICU families, Kelli invests her time and talents to raise awareness of the growing problem of preterm birth and to support families who share her experience. She is often sought out to speak about the high incidence of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder among these parents, and the need for support and navigation resources to reduce the impact of a NICU stay on families and ensure better outcomes for babies.

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This presentation has been approved for 1 contact hour of nursing continuing education by gRN NICU Consulting, Inc - CA BRN CEP #15417.

Continuing education may be eligible for other disciplines.  Please check your eligibility for "other" contact hours.