Evidence-Based, Neonatal ICU Interventions for Premature and Medically Compromised Infants

Mary Vanesko MOT, OTR/L, CIMI

Evidence-Based, Neonatal ICU Interventions for Premature and Medically Compromised Infants

CE Information


Course Brochure

Contains CE information for additional professionals

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Course Highlights

  • Practical and effective programs for collaborating as a multidisciplinary team, providing family centered care and transitions home
  • Brain and sensory development strategies to implement effective treatment protocols for premature infants
  • Hands-on Lab: Positioning and handling techniques to improve tone, posture, movement, and self-regulation
  • Accurate assessment and powerful interventions based on diagnosis such as prematurity, torticollis, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory issues, and neurological disorders
  • The most impactful strategies for massage, feeding, and safe sleep

Additional Info

According to the CDC and World Health Organization, 10% of all births in the United States are premature. Prematurity is the leading cause of mortality amongst children under 5 years of age. This is a steady increase in the last two years and the numbers continue to rise. Despite the advances in technology, the developing fetal brain is placedin a "mismatched" environment during a critical period of maturation. The artful skill of understanding the neurodevelopmental expectations of these tiny infants and the impact of the NICU environment on the long-term development of the brain has been effectively researched, resulting in the Developmental, Family Centered Care model of service delivery. Highly skilled and trained neonatal therapists, including OT, PT and SLPs have a responsibility to provide "Brain Care," implementing specialized, up to date evidence-based interventions to reduce the acute and long term developmental deficits of this fragile population.

This one-day, interactive course will provide summaries of theory in the neonatal intensive care unit and strategies toeffectively apply evidence-based, developmental, family- centered care. Through discussion, case studies, videos, and hands-on lab, participants will have an advanced understanding of the neonatal therapist's scope of practice and interventions to promote neurobehavioral, neuromotor, musculoskeletal, and sensory development. Participants will feel confident to provide parent education, promote safe andeffective feeding and sleeping interventions, as well as understand the impact of environmental modifications in the NICU. Participants will leave the course with knowledge on how to successfully impact the neonatal intensive care unit,by becoming a leader in the NICU, improving long term outcomes of the neonates and their families.

[ASHA:Intermediate level, Related Area]
  1. Identify concepts that have guided implementation of developmental and family-centered care.
  2. Implement a healing, neuroprotective environment,which fosters brain care to positively affect short-term andlong-term outcomes.
  3. Utilize age appropriate, developmentally supported, evidence-based assessment and interventions.
  4. Interpret the maturation of the brain and sensory systems using the most appropriate, safe, timely and effective interventions.
  5. Examine methods to overcome specific challenges in theNICU related to families in crisis with medically fragile infantsand unique cultural sensitivities/considerations.
  6. Examine current evidence-based research to be an effective advocate and leader in your NICU.
  1. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Getting up toSpeed
    • The evolution of the NICU
    • Interpret theoretic practice frameworks
    • What every therapist should know about working in the NICU
  2. Developmental Care and Neurobehavioral Organization
    • Recognizing the premature infant
    • Fetal and developmental maturation
    • Brain and sensory development, implications for treatment
    • Video/case study small group discussion
    • Group Activity
  3. Developmental Family-Centered Care Principles in the NICU
    • Distinguish family-centered care as developmental care
    • The role of the neonatal therapist
    • Developmentally appropriate assessment and interventions
    • Case study/individualized treatment plans
    • Case Study
  4. Evidence-Based Interventions for Positioning and Handling
    • Positioning and product recommendations
    • Handling and caregiver implications
    • Environmental modifications/recommendations
    • Positioning lab
    • Hands-On Lab
  5. Overcoming Challenges in the NICU
    • Specific diagnoses
    • Feeding culture (task oriented vs infant driven)
    • Cue-based feeding strategies
    • Safe sleep
    • Parent education and continuity of care/safe transition home
    • Follow-up clinic/early intervention
  6. Implementing a Developmentally Supportive NICU: Roles and Goals for Optimized Care
    • Referrals
    • Medical rounding
    • Policies, procedures, and protocols
    • Developmental committee
    • Bridge the gap between hospital and home

Mary Vanesko, MOT, OTR/L, CIMI has extensive clinical training and experiences as she has practiced in 4 different neonatal intensive care units, including level II, III and IV NICUS over the last decade. Mary has assisted in the implementation of an outpatient pediatric program and recently performed as the NICU expert in the build and development of a level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Mary completed her undergraduate degree at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, with a bachelor's of the arts degree in Psychology. Mary soon after received her Masters of Occupational Therapy degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mary has since been certified as an infant massage instructor and yoga instructor. She has practiced occupational therapy in many facilities across the country, including both adult and pediatric inpatient acute care and inpatient rehabilitation settings, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient pediatrics, school settings, early intervention and neonatal intensive care units.Mary has provided guest lectures at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is an active member of American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) as well as the National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT). Mary has practiced Occupational therapy in 5 states and in over 10 facilities. She provides course instructor trainings for the International Loving Touch Infant Massage Foundation, certifying professionals in infant massage. She continues to work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as well as provide independent consulting services to NICU programs and therapists. She works independently to provide her occupational therapy services to the neonatal and pediatric populations and their families.


FINANCIAL: Mary Vanesko is compensated by Summit as an Instructor. She is compensated as the owner of and consultant to WELL-Nurtured Development. She also receives compensation by Philips Health Care Solutions as a consultant, and by the International Loving Touch Foundation as a Certified Infant Massage Instructor.

NONFINANCIAL: Mary Vanesko is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) as well as the National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT).

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Content Level: Intermediate

ASHA CE Information

ASHA Continuing Education

Summit Professional Education

Intermediate Level

ASHA CE Provider approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures.

SATISFACTORY COMPLETION: Participants must register, pay tuition fee, sign in with a mobile device via scanning electronic QR code at workshop location, attend the entire workshop, complete an electronic evaluation, as well as any other required state-specific supplements (if applicable) and sign out with a mobile device via scanning electronic QR code in order to receive a certificate of completion. Participants not fulfilling these requirements will not receive a certificate. Failure to sign in or out and complete a course evaluation will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire workshop. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available.

Scope of Practice: Workshop content is not intended for use by participants outside of the regulatory scope of practice of their license(s). You are responsible for knowing what lies within and without your professional scope of practice.

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With that as our foundation, we are proud to now offer Online Continuing Education courses that we believe set a new standard of high quality. Leveraging our exceptional teaching faculty that delivers thousands of live workshops each year (with an average customer satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5.0), we have now invested in creating the same exceptional Online course experience.

We deliver Online courses that are both high quality and easy to use:

We invest in high quality video production

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Our Online platform is state of the art

  • You can see video of the instructor and slides at the same time, plus also follow the course outline and download manual
  • You can stop, start, & pick up again at your convenience (up to 30 days)
  • We are mobile friendly, and also provide live telephone technical support, Monday - Friday 6AM to 6PM CST

Finally, we are so confident that you will like our Online courses, we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Watch up to the first 30 minutes, and if you are not satisfied, you will receive a full refund. Must contact Summit within initial 30-day viewing period.

On-Demand: What to Expect

We want to make sure that you are 100% comfortable with what you are purchasing, so this is a rundown of the experience you should expect.

Here's what you can expect from our media player:

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We have also built in multiple helpful links within the media player so you can:

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  • FAQs to common questions
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Media Player Details

This is what the media player will look like when you first launch the video:

Note: The video will automatically start playing once you open the player. It may be beneficial to pause the video at the beginning so you can get organized and optimize your experience.

Icons at the bottom

You will notice 4 Icons on the bottom of the player, this is what these tabs do:

  • Helpful details regarding the course, anything you need before starting, and how the video player works
  • This is where you can see the course outline and download your manual
  • FAQs on the most common questions to enhance your video experience
  • Where your post course test and certification will be located after you finish the video

Links in the top right hand corner

There are also 3 links in the upper right hand corner:

  • Support - Gives you the number to the technical support team for issues with the media player
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Continuing Education Credit FAQs

How do I know if the workshop is approved or registered for CE credit for my profession and state?

We do the work upfront and when you select your profession and state, we only present courses that have CE approval or registration for that profession and state. You can also view the licensing approval or registration by profession on the Product page of any course (middle of page, far right tab of "CE Credit")

If you have further questions regarding your CE approval or registration, please contact Summit Customer Service M-F from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST at (800) 433-9570 or email ceinfo@summit-education.com.

Why aren't all online workshops approved or registered for my profession and state?

The approval or registration of online workshops varies by state and profession, and some licensing boards have longer approval or registration turnarounds than others.

How many credits do I receive for an online course?

Typically you will receive the same number of credits that you would get at a live workshop. Currently, all of our online workshops range from 1-6 credit hours (with some exceptions based on state and profession). You can view the licensing approval or registration by profession on the Product page (middle of page, far right tab of "CE Credit") where you can see the exact number of credit hours for each profession and state.

If you have further questions regarding CE credits, please contact Summit Customer Service M-F from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST at (800) 433-9570 or email customerservice@summit-education.com.

Does Summit report to CE broker? ASHA?

Yes. Once you complete your online course, post-course requirements, and the printing of your certificate, please follow the below steps.

For ASHA reporting an online course: Once you have met satisfactory completion requirements of the course, you will have access to a participant form via a "Report to ASHA" button in your account (next to the "Certificate Download" button). Simply select the "Report to ASHA" button, provide your ASHA member ID, and select "Submit". Please note, the "Report to ASHA" button will only be available in your account to submit your request for 10 days from the date you completed the online course after which Summit will be unable to report your completion to ASHA.

Online course completions are reported to ASHA following the below schedule:

  • Completions dated 1/1 - 3/31 will be reported to ASHA no later than 5/15
  • Completions dated 4/1 - 6/30 will be reported to ASHA no later than 8/14
  • Completions dated 7/1 - 9/30 will be reported to ASHA no later than 11/14
  • Completions dated 10/1 - 12/31 will be reported to ASHA no later than 2/14

Summit offers CE Broker reporting on behalf of FL PTs, OTs, SLPs and ATCs as well as for AL OTs, OH SLPs, SC PTs, OTs and SLPs. Licensees in states/professions outside of these listed should self-report at cebroker.com using the information provided on the certificate of completion. More information can be found here.

Online Course Content FAQs

Is an outline of the course content available before or during viewing?

You can see a course outline on the Product page under the Course Outline tab. After purchase, the course outline is also provided on the media player for watching the course.

How do I access the course manual?

Once you have purchased the course, there is a tab at the bottom of the media player where you can download the manual to save or print for your personal use.

Manual is located in the "Resources" tab

Are there labs in the course? What do I do if there are labs during the course?

Most of our courses have hands-on lab content, varying from minimal to significant. By looking at the Course Outline tab on the Product page, you can see how intensive the labs are for each course. During the lab section, we have invested heavily in providing very strong video content (i.e. very tight camera angles) so you can learn along with the live attendees. Depending on the course, you may want to simulate the activities that are presented in the course (which will be noted in the "Before You Start" section of the media player).

Where can I find who is teaching the course and his/her professional credentials?

You can see the instructor and their credentials on the product page under the Instructor Info tab

Online Video Experience

How long is the course?

Courses range in length from 1-6 hours. You can see the exact length of the course by visiting the course Product page.

Will I need any special materials to take the course?

After purchasing, the any special materials or specific advice is listed at the bottom of the "Course Info" tab.

Can I fast-forward or rewind through the online course?

Yes. For your convenience, you may fast-forward or rewind while watching the course. However, please note you will be required to certify you have watched the entire course to obtain CE credit.

Are there breaks? Can I press pause while watching the course?

There are no formal breaks in the video content. However, there is a pause feature to allow taking breaks at your own convenience.

Can I complete the course over several days? How much time do I have to finish the course?

Yes, you can always press pause or stop to take a break at your own convenience. Also, if you leave the course, please note where you left so you can pick up where you last finished. However, please remember you need to finish the course and pass your post course test within 30 days (non-subscribers) or before your subscription ends (subscribers).

Is the online course interactive? Will I be able to ask questions during the course?

The video that you will be watching is a recorded version of a live workshop. The video captures Instructor answers to participant questions, but there is no opportunity for you to ask questions with the instructor, real time. If you do have questions for the instructor, most instructors have their email address at the end of their presentations.

Am I able to re-watch the online courses even after I have completed the post course test and received my certificate?

Once you purchase the online workshop, you have 30 days to view the workshop as many times as you want as well as to review the manual (if you choose not to download while taking the course). For subscribers, your access is unlimited while your subscription is active.

Can I get a refund if I don't like the course?

We want your experience with Summit to be an enjoyable one. If you purchase an online workshop and don't like it for whatever reason, please stop within the first 30 minutes to receive a full refund. Then call us at (800) 433-9570 to talk with our customer service team to get your refund or a new online course.

Test & Certificate

Will I need to take a post course test? Why?

Yes, you are required to successfully pass the post course test to obtain CE credits and certification. This is required by our licensing boards for online courses.

What is the post course test like, what is a passing score, and how many times can I take it?

Post course tests consist of True/False and/or multiple choice questions. You will be able to retake the post course test as many time as necessary to receive a passing grade. A passing "grade" is 75% or higher for general content, 80% or higher for certain state specific workshops, like ethics, jurisprudence, and laws and rules courses. You will be able to retake the post course test as many times as necessary to receive a passing grade.

When will I receive my credits and certificate?

Once you complete your course evaluation and online test, you will be able to immediately download your certificate and request CE Broker or ASHA Reporting (if applicable).

Technical FAQs

What browsers and Operating system do I need to run for this to work properly?

The following are the supported browsers and Operating Systems for the media player to work properly:

  • Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft Edge 44+ for Windows 10
  • Google Chrome 75.0+ for Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux
  • Mozilla Firefox 70.0+ for Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux
  • Safari 12.0+ for Mac OSX 10.13 and above

Will the media player work on both a Mac and PC?

Yes, the online courses will play on both a Mac and PC. The following are the supported browsers and Operating Systems for the media player to work properly:

  • Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft Edge 44+ for Windows 10
  • Google Chrome 75.0+ for Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux
  • Mozilla Firefox 70.0+ for Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux
  • Safari 12.0+ for Mac OSX 10.13 and above

Can the workshops be played on my phone?

Yes! You are able to watch the workshops on your phone. Here are the technical requirements to ensure it works properly:

  • Safari on iOS 13+
  • Safari on iPadOS 13+
  • Chrome on Android 9.0+
  • Any running Android 9.0+

Are the videos downloadable or streaming?

All of the videos stream from the media player.

How does the streaming video work?

Live streaming video is content sent in compressed form over the Internet and displayed by the viewer in real time. With streaming video or streaming media, a Web user does not have to wait to download a file to play it. Instead, the media is sent in a continuous stream of data and is played as it arrives.

Will I experience any occasional buffering or freezing of the video?

Because of our streaming video approach, this rarely happens. If it does, it's typically because of customer internet access quality issues and we will provide troubleshooting tips as well as telephone support from our help desk.

Do you provide technical support?

Our help desk is available to assist you by phone Monday through Friday, 6AM to 6PM at (800) 433-9570.

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