Neonatology labs

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Neonatology labs are a required part of the curriculum for second-year D.O. and PA students at Des Moines University. This lab is held at Mercy Medical Center, over the course of three sessions and offers students a unique experience to work with newborn patients during their second year. All labs are taught by one of Mercy’s own nurse practitioners, Shamrae Kemmet.

Session I, which must be completed prior to Sessions II and III, consists of a lecture and introduction. Session II consists of a hands-on demonstration of the neonatal exam. Estimation of gestational age and documentation, are also highlighted. Session II must be completed before Session III. Session III consists of additional hands-on practice time. A post-test will be administered, and a score of 70 percent or greater is required to pass this course.

This course addresses the development of the following American Osteopathic Core Competencies of the Osteopathic Student and Professional: osteopathic philosophy and osteopathic principles and practice, medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills and professionalism.

The goal of the neonatology laboratorys is to introduce students to neonatal physical examinations, highlight differences in newborn versus adult examination and familiarize students with common variants of “normal” on examination.

Upon completion of Session I, students will be able to:

  1. Recognize common variants of the neonate on physical examination.
  2. Describe causes of hyperbilirubinemia in the neonate.
  3. Discuss appropriate discharge instructions for the newborn.

Upon completion of Session II, students will be able to:

  1. Identify infection control measures and precautions used when performing physical examinations of the newborn.
  2. Demonstrate appropriate use of instruments (stethoscope, otoscope, ophthalmoscope) on the newborn during examination.
  3. Discuss common causes of large and small for infants gestational age.
  4. Recognize components essential for good documentation of physical findings.

Upon completion of Session III, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate appropriate assessment techniques specific to the neonatal exam.
  2. Identify neurological reflexes specific to the newborn.
  3. Perform a complete admission/discharge exam on the neonate.

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