The S.T.A.B.L.E. Program focuses exclusively on the post-resuscitation/pre-transport stabilization care of sick infants. The "S.T.A.B.L.E." acronym helps healthcare providers remember the program's key neonatal-care topics: sugar, temperature, airway, blood pressure, lab work, and emotional support for the family. The program also features an additional module on quality improvement to stress the professional responsibility of improving and evaluating care provided to sick infants.
Who should take the S.T.A.B.L.E. Program?
The S.T.A.B.L.E. Program is for hospital staff involved in post-resuscitation and stabilization of sick infants, including:
- neonatal nurses, NICU nurses, mother-baby nurses, physician assistants, and nurse midwives
- neonatologists and emergency department physicians
- respiratory therapists and EMTs
- other providers of care for newborns.
Concepts and skills covered in the S.T.A.B.L.E. Program include:
- sugar and safe care -- glucose monitoring, hypoglycemia, umbilical catheters, intrauterine growth curves, and more
- temperature -- detrimental effects of hypothermia, temperature's effects on metabolic rate and oxygen consumption, neuroprotective hypothermia, and more
- airway -- patient evaluation and monitoring, intubation, blood gas interpretation, and more
- blood pressure -- shock, cardiac output, dopamine use, and more
- lab work -- neonatal infection, laboratory tests to obtain after transport, evaluation algorithms, hematologic reference ranges, and more
- emotional support -- providing relationship-based care to babies and their parents, ideas for when the infant requires transport, and more
- quality improvement -- teamwork and team training, self-assessment, and more.
Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:
- assess glucose stability after birth, and recognize signs of hypoglycemia
- safely place umbilical catheters
- understand the effects of temperature on metabolic rate
- identify infants at increased risk for hypothermia, and understand mechanisms of heat gain and loss
- safely rewarm hypothermic infants
- recognize signs of neonatal respiratory distress or failure, and assess treatment options
- safely use analgesics to treat pain
- understand the difference between compensated and uncompensated shock and how principles of cardiac output and heart rate relate to shock
- evaluate infants for the three major types of shock seen in infants
- recognize the clinical signs of neonatal sepsis
- know which laboratory tests to obtain in the pre-transport/post-resuscitation period
- use antibiotics to treat an infant with suspected sepsis
- support families of sick infants, and facilitate parenting in the NICU.
This program can be led by an instructor or taken on a self-study basis.