Bedside Guide for Neonatal Care: Learning tools to support practice

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This guide has been devised as a quick reference bedside resource of useful learning tools relevant to the care of the neonate in the clinical setting. The purpose of this book is as a general guide for bedside care containing information to support practice for health professionals working with neonates in the hospital environment. It is not the intention of this book to give lengthy explanations or protocols, nor is it intended to replace approved polices or company equipment user guides. Rather, it is to offer a ‘snap-shot’ reference guide to support knowledge for bedside care with reference to relevant literature and national guidelines where applicable. In this way, the book aims to be universally applicable to anyone caring for neonates in the clinical setting.

However, it is acknowledged that local thinking and guidance will invariably affect certain practices, which may influence the applicability of certain parts of this guide at local unit level. Therefore, where necessary, reference should be made to any relevant local protocols or formal practice guidelines in one’s own clinical area and workplace. Acknowledging the general guide offered by this book alongside one’s own local variations hopes to make the book a contextual and relevant resource to support practice and learning.

However, while being mindful of one’s own unit guidance, it should also be remembered that when local practice does differ from said book, this can actually provide an additional opportunity for learning and further discussion. Moreover, learning different practices can serve to move learning on from just knowing local practice and open up opportunities for readers to begin to question why these variations occur along with what effect they might be having on neonatal care and outcomes.
After all, health professionals should learn from each other across different disciplines or neonatal units. There is never usually only one way of performing practices and variations will always exist. The main message is that whatever specific guidelines are followed, we are all aiming for the same outcome; that of optimizing care and minimizing risk to our vulnerable neonates and their families.

Another point worth noting is the importance of recognizing the continually evolving nature of some aspects of neonatal care; for example, the debates around early or late cord clamping in the newborn, ventilation modes and feeding regimes. The reader will be alerted to such areas, where applicable, as well as to any other area of caution requiring specific attention.

The book is divided into three main sections. In Part 1, the book starts by introducing the concept and importance of bedside learning in neonatal care and places this in the context of the holistic care of the neonate and family. A discussion on the application of bedside learning tools for neonatal practice then follows, addressing how learning tools can be applied to the clinical area within an evidence-based approach. Part 2 covers over 100 key bedside tools for neonatal nursing care, which is divided into 24 chapters according to an A to X approach. The focus is on information to support practice, rather than the relaying of information on the theory of neonatal conditions, although, where applicable, suggestions for further reading are provided for those topics that have a body of underpinning theory. The specific detail and layout of each chapter will be explained in, ‘How to use this book’.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages390
ISBN (Electronic)9781137398468
ISBN (Print)1137398469
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Neonatal nursing care; practice guide; tools for learning


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