Bringing Developmental Care to a Unit

Specialties NICU


About a year ago I moved from a large level IIIb NICU where developmental care/NIDCAP was a huge priority to a medium sized NICU level IIIC in a large academic hospital where developmental care has not been implemented. I was never one of the huge developmental care advocates in my old hospital but now that I am working in an NICU without developmental care (loud, bright, non-grouped cares, spotty swaddling, every day baths, no sleep preservation, long periods of crying is acceptable, etc.) I am desperate to seem some developmental care implemented.

My new job has many nurses who have been there 20+ years and have very rigid ways of doing things. I fear that trying to get developmental care implemented is going to be an up-hill battle especially as a relatively new employee trying to implement this change.

Has anyone had developmental care successfully introduced to their unit? What worked and what didn't? How did you get the nurses and all other workers in the infant's environment to adopt developmentally friendly attitudes and behaviors? Thanks for any advice and insight!


175 Posts

Wow. I'm surprised that such a high level NICU wouldn't follow best developmental practices. I would start with the manager and/or educator and see what they think. I agree that too much change at once would probably get a lot of push back from the nurses. I would make a list of all the problems/issues that you see and prioritize them and just start working your way down the list very slowly. Initially I would only address 1 or 2 things. Maybe the manager and/or educator could get an expert to come do an inservice/presentation on the importance of developmental care in the NICU. Do you have PT/OT/ST services available to the NICU? They should be able to help you as well.Good for you for recognizing this problem and taking initiative!Good luck!


43 Posts

Start with sharing evidence based practice & research. Elsevier

Good luck!

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