Life-saving interventions are sometimes required in the newborn infant such as chest physiotherapy and suction aim to remove airway secretions, improve delivery of ventilation, prevent or resolve respiratory complications and facilitate early weaning.
Roshan Ara, Post RN student and NICU nurse, observed that the practice of suctioning and physiotherapy, unless performed correctly, can result in a longer NICU stay, prolonged intubation time, and in the worst cases may result in the infant’s dependency on the ventilator or atelectasis. She saw the need to have customised simulation-based training to equip NICU staff with evidence-based knowledge and practice in this field. She thought that it would be very difficult to execute this idea as a student, but then she thought - ‘let’s give it a try’. As soon as she shared this idea with the CIME team, and with the backing of her colleagues, we were delighted to assist a student initiative to improve neonatal care in the hospital.
The programme that was developed emphasized the importance and long-term respiratory outcomes of gentle chest physiotherapy and suctioning in newborn babies. This student-led simulation should lead to improved quality of care in the hospital, and we hope it will encourage others to introduce simulation-based education in their areas in the strive for improvement.