Friday Fast Five: Meet Cathryn Crowle NIDCAP Trainee

Friday Fast Five Interview Series

Each month we interview individuals associated with the Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre and the broader NIDCAP federation international community and ask them 5 questions that explore their association with our unit and NIDCAP. This month meet Cathryn Crowle, Occupational Therapist and NIDCAP Trainee in Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care.

What is your role in GCNC?

I work as a Senior Occupational Therapist in both a clinical and research capacity. Clinically, I work in the NICU and the Grace Development Clinic. This involves providing neurological and developmental assessment for infants and education to families on how to optimise their baby’s development. My research role involves investigating early detection of cerebral palsy and the developmental outcomes of infants following neonatal surgery.

What made you decide to undertake NIDCAP training?

I am passionate about promoting optimal neurodevelopmental outcomes for infants so anything we can do to protect the developing infant brain is important. NIDCAP also fits well within an occupational therapy framework.

In your opinion how does NIDCAP potentially benefit neonates, families and staff?

NIDCAP aims to decrease the stressors of the NICU environment for neonates, provides families with practical information on how to help their baby cope, and guides staff in providing sensitive, individualised, developmentally supportive care.

What has been the most meaningful learning for you during NIDCAP Training so far?

Taking the time to stop and just quietly observe infant responses to routine caregiving tasks. The impact of noise and/or touch on a preterm or sick neonate’s physiological stability should not be underestimated.

What do you hope the Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre achieves?

The widespread training of multidisciplinary staff working in NICUs around Australia to enhance the quality of care for as many infants as possible. The FINE (Family and Infant Neurodevelopmental Education) program, offered by the Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre, is a valuable short course that provides an excellent background on developmental care and neuroprotection.