Friday Fast Five: Meet Natalie Fairbairn

Each month we interview individuals associated with the Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre and the broader NIDCAP Federation International (NFI) community, asking them five questions that explore their association with our unit and NIDCAP. This month, meet Natalie Fairbairn Senior Occupational Therapist and NIDCAP Trainee in our training centre.

What is your role in Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care?

I am a senior occupational therapist and research officer in Grace Centre for Newborn Care.

My roles are to provide assessment and intervention to babies in Grace Centre. I provide recommendations and intervention to parents and staff to support the development of the infant while they are on the unit. I also work in the follow-up clinic where we monitor infants who were part of our unit and provide recommendations to families to promote their child’s cognitive, language and motor development. In my research role, I am undertaking a PhD looking at the longer term developmental and educational outcomes for infants who have had early major surgery.

What made you decide to undertake NIDCAP training?

I understand the importance of developmental care and the benefits to the baby and the family. As an occupational therapist, I have an understanding of the importance of developmental care and developmental outcomes, and NIDCAP focuses on individualising care that is provided to the baby.        

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

NIDCAP provides individualised care for the neonate. Developmental care is provided based on the infant’s behaviours care is tailored to meet the baby’s needs at that time. The family and staff gain a greater understanding of the baby and how to best support them during their time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It also helps families and staff work together to help support the baby.

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

The NIDCAP observations have enabled me to observe the baby’s behaviour and their physiological responses to what is happening to them or around them.

What do you hope the Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre achieves?

Improved individualised developmental care and developmental outcomes for infants who have been in the intensive care unit.

Editor's note: The views of individuals do not represent the view of the Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre.