The Occupational Therapy (OT) Consult Service provides family-based developmental assessment and consultation for high-risk infants in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and newborn nurseries at Women & Infants Hospital.
Inpatient referrals for an OT Consult are made by medical staff of the NICU or newborn nurseries, and require an order by the medical team. Infants and their families may be referred for services for a variety of reasons, including feeding difficulties and the need for developmental support or anticipatory guidance.
Occupational therapy services are available during the nursery stay and during the transition home to provide developmental, behavioral and feeding assessment, consultation and intervention. An additional focus of the program is on facilitating parent–infant relationships and parental coping and adjustment. Thus, the occupational therapist may work closely with other team members, including mental health clinicians, when appropriate.
Our program includes:
- In-hospital consultation and assessment of infant feeding and development.
- In-hospital creation, with parents and other caregivers, of an individualized developmental care plan for the infant based on the OT assessment.
- In-hospital instruction/teaching for parents and staff regarding developmental strengths and areas of need.
- OT staff work closely with parents to address concerns about the infant's behavior or development, and follow up by phone after discharge to provide suggestions that may enhance the infant's transition to the new home environment.
- Outpatient OT Consultation Services also are available to address short term problems related to feeding issues, muscle tone difficulties, coordination issues.
- Outpatient OT Consultation Services at the Women & Infants' Neonatal Follow-Up Program for premature infants, following their discharge from the hospital.
Who do we serve?
- Families who are preparing to take home their infants who have spent time in the NICU by helping address some of their concerns, such as:
How can we participate in our baby's care in the nursery?
What can we do to make our baby more comfortable?
How is our baby progressing developmentally?
What can we do to promote our baby's development?
What should we expect when we first bring our baby home?
Will we know what to do if something seems wrong?
What can we do to make our baby's transition home go smoothly for our family?
- Infants presenting with difficulties in the areas of feeding and motor development due to prematurity, medical conditions such as lung disease, cardiac and neurologic problems, congenital anomalies, including cleft lip and/or palate, and chromosome abnormalities
- Preterm infants in the Follow-Up Program at Women & Infants'Hospital with motor or feeding problems
For more information, call (401) 274-1122, ext. 8935.
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