Positive Infant Health

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The health of an infant is intrinsically linked to their future health and well being in both childhood and into adulthood (Martyn et al., 2013). The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) acknowledge the imperative role that NPs play in “assisting newborns to thrive physically, developmentally, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually within the family environment” (Position Statement, n.a., 2003, p. 19a), reinforcing the impact of the NP in the primary care setting. At some point in care, approximately 95% of children from birth to three years of age are seen in the primary care setting for healthcare needs (Williams et al., 2015). The Canadian Pediatric Society produced a position statement outlining the importance …show more content…
However, research has suggested that many primary care providers are not routinely using pediatric screening tools at well-baby visits (Williams et al., 2015; Gautier et al., 2009). The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners note that NPs are skilled with the use of screening instruments and assessments to examine infant development and psychological well-being (NAPNAP, 2003). The University of British Colombia completed a survey of the developmental screening practices in Canada by primary care providers (Don’t know how to cite source!- contact lib). The most commonly used tool in Canada is the Rourke Baby Record (RBR), this is an evidence-based screening tool used to detect physical problems and developmental delays. This tool is endorsed by the Canadian Family Physician, The Canadian Pediatric Society and the World Health Organization. Other tools included in this Canadian survey at the UBC were: Nipissing District Developmental Screen (NDDS), Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), Parents ‘Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) and the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (MCHAT). The survey results showed that most family physicians do not use standardized developmental screening tests and attributed this to a perceived lack of time, negative attitudes concerning screening, unfamiliarity with …show more content…
Furthermore, infants are entitled to high quality pediatric health care with the most rapid detection and treatment possible as many chronic conditions, special health needs and developmental delays that evolve rapidly and affect long-term health (Martyn et al., 2013). The NP in a mother-baby clinic could care for an infant by conducting developmental screening, early detection and appropriate diagnosis and treatment. NPs spend more time with their patients and can give the mother-baby dyad the time and attention they require in a manner not currently being offered by physician-led primary care. NPs have the skills and abilities to enhance the quality of care using a family-centered approach and their expertise in maternal and infant health knowledge using a nursing context (Martyn et al., 2013). Family centered care (FCC) has been defined as a partnership approach to decision-making in healthcare between family members and the health care provider (Kuo et al., 2012). FCC is referenced as the standard of neonatal and pediatric health care in multiple clinical settings (Kuo et al., 2012). Families have improved relationships with their primary providers when a family-centered approach is utilized (Gramling et al., 2004). The

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