The Close Collaboration with Parents training program is an educational program for multiprofesional NICU healthcare teams. The goal of the training program is to increase staff members’ skills to collaborate with parents during the infants hospital stay and, thereby, facilitate family centered care culture unit-wide. One motivation to implement the program is the need to update care culture and to prepare the staff for a single family room based unit. Another motivation is the need to support parents’ presence and parent-infant skin-to-skin contact in the current unit context and, thereby, increase the quality of the care.
We developed and carried out the Close Collaboration with Parents Training Program in the neonatal intensive care unit of Turku University Hospital during the years 2009 to 2012. Now, the program has been implemented in several Finnish units as well as in other countries. The corner stones of the training program are the joint observation of infant's individual behavior with parents and planning the infant care with parents based on this joint observations. The training supports the staff in their capacity to listen to parents regarding decision-making and thereby integrates parents in the care team. This increases parents' presence and participation in the care of the infant. The long-term goal is to support infant development and the development of an attachment relationship between parents and the infant to produce parental psychosocial well-being.
The training program is based on clinical research evidence and theories of developmental psychology. It consists of bedside learning with a mentor, reflective practices, and theoretical teaching supported by a manual and e-learning platform (password protected). We train local mentors to facilitate the learning process of other staff members in their unit. The mentors, together with the medical director and head nurse of the unit, will form a local training team. The team participates actively in the education provided by the trainers and is responsible for the practical organization of the training in their unit.
We provide contact teaching, consulting, and supervision for the mentors, the medical director, and the head nurse for one and a half years. The mentors receive five weeks of contact teaching by our trainer mentors. The contact teaching includes lectures for the whole staff and mentoring for the local mentors-to-be. The contact teaching can be organized both in Turku and in the target unit according to the needs of a unit.
The training team of the Close Collaboration with Parents program:
Sari Ahlqvist-Björkroth, PhD, psychotherapist, Coordinator of the CC training program
Liisa Lehtonen, MD, Head of Neonatology, Turku University Hospital, Professor in Pediatrics
Anna Axelin, RN, PhD, Associated Professor in Nursing sciences
Sanna Pick, RN
Helena Lindberg, RN
Pirjo Tahvanainen, RN
Hannele Haapala, RN
Monica Rautiala, RN
Siw Hellsten, RN
Jussi Sundgren, Midwife
Maria Aro-Välimaa, RN
Anu Yrttiaho, RN
Link to the training manual (password protected)
Please do not hesitate to contact us for future information:
The Units that have been trained so far:
The neonatal intensive care unit in Lahti
The neonatal intensive care unit in Vaasa
The neonatal intensive care unit in Oulu
The neonatal intensive care unit in Hämeenlinna
The neonatal intensive care unit in Kuopio
The neonatal intensive care unit in Lappeenranta
The neonatal intensive care unit in Hyvinkää
The neonatal intensive care unit in Seinäjoki
The neonatal intensive care unit in Trondheim, Norway
The neonatal intensive care unit in Jyväskylä
The neonatal intensive care unit in Pori