Therapeutic Interventions in the NICU

Saturday, September 16, 2017 to Sunday, September 17, 2017
07:30 AM to 03:15 PM


Nicklaus Children's Hospital
3100 SW 62nd Ave
Miami, Florida 33155

Course description

This course focuses on developmental and therapeutic interventions in the NICU. It covers assessment and treatment, transition to home, post discharge follow-up and identification of emerging disabilities. Strategies to optimize behavior, development and feeding of the neonate will be offered in addition to practical approaches to facilitating teamwork and caregiver engagement in the NICU setting and through the transition home.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course the participant will be able to:
  • Describe how neuroembryology of the sensory system develops and how our interventions impact the NICU infant.
  • Discuss vital information needed before entering the NICU.
  • Evaluate the developmental level of the NICU infant and implement appropriate treatment interventions
  • Discuss components of a successful feeding in the NICU.
  • Identify behaviors that may indicate emerging disabilities in the NICU graduate.
  • List the six developmental steps of staff dynamics when implementing new practices in your NICU.

Course requirements

  • Comfortable clothing appropriate for floor activities
  • One doll (preferably with flexible joints)
  • One baby blanket, one hand/bath size towel and one washcloth
  • One baby bottle with nipple

Schedule - Day One

7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Neuroembryology:
How our Interventions Impact the Premature Infant
9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. The NICU Team:
Implementing a Family-Centered Care Approach Strategies to engage the caregiver
10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Strategies to deal with challenges within the team:
Getting by-in from resistant team members to adopting a developmental approach.
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. What every experienced and novice therapist needs to know before entering the NICU
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Evaluating the NICU Infant:
Selecting and implementing the most appropriate standardized vs. nonstandardized assessment tool
2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Positioning the High Risk Infant:
Strategies to promote physiologic stability and postural/motor and visual development
3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Handling: “Listening” to what the infant is “telling” you
3:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Environmental Modifications
4:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Strategies to overcome challenges when implementing Kangaroo Care
4:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Infant Massage

Schedule - Day Two

7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Feeding:
It isn’t as easy as it looks Essential components of feeding evaluations
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Identifying Emerging Disabilities:
Transition home
What kinds of outcomes are we seeing?
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Feeding case studies
2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Lab: Demonstration and Practice of Treatment Applications:
Case studies
Feeding interventions


Tracilyn Urruela is a physical therapist who has practiced in the area of early intervention since 1993. She has developed both NICU and Outpatient Developmental Follow Up therapy programs as well as an extensive staff training curriculum for this highly specialized area. Her philosophy follows a developmental care and family centered approach. She is T.O.P.S.E.I. (Training for Occupational and Physical Therapy Services in Early Intervention) certified through the University of Florida and is also a Certified Infant Massage Instructor. She is currently the Director of Rehab Services at a hospital in Miami, FL and has been a member of the Pediatric Section of the APTA since 1996.
Disclosure: Financial: Tracilyn Urruela receives a speaking fee from Education Resources, Inc. for this course. Non Financial: She has no non financial relationships to disclose.


Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Assistants, Speech Therapists and Nurses working in the NICU setting.

$435 fee. Group rate (3 or more) must be mailed/faxed together $410.
Deadline for registration is 3 weeks prior to course. Registration accepted after deadline on a space available basis.
Cancellation accepted up to 2 weeks before course minus an administration fee of $75.

Limited enrollment

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