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PT Course Details

Course # 1241
Physical Therapy in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

This course is mobile compatible.

Level: Introductory

CEUs/Hours Offered: See All State Associations

AK/2.0; AL/2.0; AR/2.0; AZ/2.0; CA/2.0; CO/2.0; CT/2.0; DE/2.0; GA/2.0; HI/2.0; IA/2.0; ID/2.0; IL EITP/2.0; IL/2.0; IN/2.0; KY/2.0; MA/2.0; MD/0.2; ME/2.0; MI/2.0; MO/2.0; MT/2.0; NC/2.0; ND/2.0; NE/2.0; NH/2.0; NY/2.0; OR/2.0; RI/2.0; SD/2.0; UT/2.0; VA/2.0; VT/2.0; WA/2.0; WI/2.0; WY/2.0

Course Abstract

Physical therapy practice in the neonatal intensive care unit is a challenging and rewarding field that requires unique knowledge regarding the needs of the premature child. This course will provide practitioners with an overview of examination, plan of care development, goal writing, and evidence-based interventions in the neonatal intensive care unit. Participants will also be able to develop effective educational plans for NICU parents that emphasize response to infant signals as well as parental bonding and involvement in their child´s care.

NOTE: The recording of this live course includes exploration of a third party website(s) that may not appear in the recording. However, the link to the site(s) is available in the slide handout. Please pause the recording and explore the material on your own.

Editor's Note: Regarding Pennsylvania credits, this course is approved by the PA State Board of Physical Therapy for 1 hour of Direct Access CE credit and 1 hour of General CE Credit, from 4/11/13 through 12/31/14.
Disclosure: This learning event does not focus exclusively on any specific product or service.

This course was recorded on August 16, 2012


Handouts are available for this course. You must be signed in and registered for this event to access them.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the synactive theory of development as the basis for neonatal physical therapy management.
  • Identify the special needs of the neonatal patient and correctly interpret their time out and interaction signals.
  • Describe kangaroo care practices and list their effects on preterm infant development.
  • Develop meaningful physical therapy goals for the NICU patient.
  • List evidence-based intervention strategies appropriate for the NICU infant, and describe important areas in parental education in the NICU.

Time-ordered Agenda

0-10 Minutes The NICU environment
10-20 Minutes The special needs of the neonatal patient. Interpreting infant signals
20-35 Minutes Physical therapy examination and the synactive theory
35-45 Minutes Writing goals in the NICU and developing a plan of care.
45-60 Minutes Developmentally appropriate care – evidence for effectiveness
60-80 Minutes Other evidence-based interventions in the NICU
80-90 Minutes The parent perspective
90-110 Minutes Case study interactive activity
110-120 Minutes Q&A

Average Rating

(189 Ratings)

Most Recent Comments

Review by: Jessica on July 29, 2015
the speaker has a very vast knowledge of the material and presents it in a very easy manner
Review by: Nancy on July 27, 2015
Learned about activities I had not been exposed to , including Synactive
Review by: Delisa on June 21, 2015
It was great foundation course for me a someone who will be new to the NICU.
Review by: Karina on May 20, 2015
simple and relevant
Review by: Patricia on April 22, 2015
Review by: Bruce on March 28, 2015
Direct relevance to my job. Course material presented in an "easy to understand" format. Presenter/information kept the attention of the student.
Review by: Laura on March 25, 2015
very informative in an organized manner. was able to process all the information well
Review by: Moustafa on March 19, 2015
Review by: Jamie on March 18, 2015
well organized for an introduction to the NICU. Very clear, useful topics.
Review by: Julie on February 18, 2015
Instructor was very knowledgable and experienced
Review by: Roshna on January 22, 2015
The speaker who has lots of NICU experience
Review by: Katie on December 31, 2014
Well organized, right level of depth, relaxed yet informative.
Review by: Joanna on December 29, 2014
It was thorough and efficiently delivered with excellent examples.
Review by: Michaele on December 28, 2014
relevant information for everyday treatment
Review by: brian on December 26, 2014
Currently a Neonatal PhysicaL Therapist for large 52 bed LEVEL 3 NICU,it was nice to get anothers perspective in this specialized area of PT.
Review by: Kelle on December 17, 2014
The speaker was thorough and knowledgeable.
Review by: lanie on December 14, 2014
Fantastic course- Comprehensive yet completely understandable! Clear and concise and even though I do not work in the NICU, it is completely related to the preemies I see in my clinic.
Review by: Joleen on December 11, 2014
I do pediatrics but have always wanted to do NICU and my daughter is a NICU nurse so the information was very informative and the presenter was very good.
Review by: Ruth K. on December 3, 2014
Good information, well paced, and relevant.
Review by: Renee on November 15, 2014
The data was presented in a way that I could easily understand it and would be able to apply it. The presenter gave real examples of how the data would be applied.
Review by: Stacey on November 10, 2014
simple layout/explanations
Review by: Jennifer on November 4, 2014
Very knowledgeable speaker on course topic
Review by: Catherine on November 4, 2014
Use of evidence to develop plan of care and goals, as well as the two different cases.
Review by: Catherine on October 27, 2014
well explained interventions and goals writing
Review by: Mindy on October 25, 2014
This presenter is extremely knowledgeable, compassionate and passionate about teaching, the subject matter and her patients.
Review by: Emily on October 21, 2014
Thank you for providing case studies and examples of goals
Review by: margaret on October 18, 2014
all the great info was clear and concise and very relevant.
Review by: Kelly on October 17, 2014
The manner in which the material was presented made the learning experience excellent. I did not have to stop the video and go back to look at previous notes to understand the current material. All the information was applicable to the NICU work environment.
Review by: Doug on October 14, 2014
Very knowledgeable speaker.
Review by: Cheri on October 2, 2014
Clear explanation of concepts followed by examples
Review by: Michele on September 20, 2014
Very informative about the reason for some of the persistent motor issues in the babies I see for Early Intervention services.
Review by: Adriana on September 16, 2014
Very comprehensive on NICU environment PT assessment, treatment and goal setting.
Review by: Erika on September 2, 2014
Great information, just the right amount of detail. Wonderful delivery by presenter.
Review by: Aimee on August 3, 2014
Excellent presenter. Very organized and easy to follow presentation. Case studies and media links were helpful.
Review by: Lydia on June 25, 2014
The presenter is very knowledgeable and has a lot of good insight.
Review by: Tory on June 19, 2014
It met the stated goals; instructor was clear and made the lecture as interesting as possible.
Review by: Veronica on June 17, 2014
The extensive information she presented about the children, parents, and caregivers. She really was sure to include ALL aspects of care needed for the child in the nicu.
Review by: kelly on May 23, 2014
organized, informative video clips, clear examples
Review by: Katherine on May 15, 2014
media clips
Review by: Jocelyn on May 10, 2014
Course content and delivery by instructor was very clear and easy to understand.
Review by: Britney on May 1, 2014
Dr. Fernandez-Fernandez presented an organized, easy to follow introduction to therapy in the NICU. She clearly has an excellent understanding of the NICU environment and a passion for sharing her knowledge with others in order to best serve this specialized population.
Review by: William on April 12, 2014
Easy to follow
Review by: Holly on March 14, 2014
Presenter gave a thorough background of the NICU and its patients and the high points of treatment and interventions. Good information, easily accessible for immediate use.
Review by: Joan on March 9, 2014
Thorough and specific with treatment strategies.
Review by: jennifer on February 17, 2014
This course made me consider a setting change to the NICU
Review by: cindy on February 6, 2014
Good, comprehensive coverage of PT assessment/goals,etc
Review by: Alexis on January 30, 2014
the presenter delivered the information in a clear and organized matter
Review by: Carrie on January 30, 2014
I really enjoy this presenter. She presents clinically relevant information that can be immediately put into practice in the clinical setting.
Review by: Michelle on January 28, 2014
It directly applies to my work.
Review by: Brittney on January 26, 2014
good information & presentation of information, could have a few more examples of therapies/activities used
Review by: Erika on January 22, 2014
Good presentation of materials. Clear and easy to hear/understandspeaker.
Review by: Regina on January 21, 2014
very clear; good examples
Review by: Allison on January 12, 2014
Good content
Review by: Sheila May on January 6, 2014
good and detailed information...
Review by: Kenneth on December 24, 2013
I enjoyed the course information. The format made it easy to understand.
Review by: Lauren on December 16, 2013
videos, examples, instructor experience
Review by: Maureen on December 13, 2013
Very organized, smooth presentation.
Review by: Jennifer on December 12, 2013
It was very thorough.
Review by: Lori on December 10, 2013
The information was pertinent to some areas of my working environment and the information was very helpful.
Review by: Everlly on November 30, 2013
straight to the point and instructor is very knowledgeable
Review by: Janette on November 23, 2013
The instructor was organized in her thoughts, knowledgable and easy to understand.
Review by: Kim on November 22, 2013
Great slides, helpful demos
Review by: Michael on November 21, 2013
Great lecturer
Review by: Ann on October 25, 2013
Speaker was knowledgeable.
Review by: Kara on September 18, 2013
It was well organized and easy to understand.
Review by: Brian on August 29, 2013
well organized and presenter very well prepared
Review by: june on July 28, 2013
Organization and completeness of information, presenters ability to provide info in a fluent manner.
Review by: Joan on July 14, 2013
It reaffirmed the handling and care I give in the NICU and the knowledge I share with the parents. I would have liked to see the presenter actually perform part of a treatment via video.
Review by: Cynthia on July 4, 2013
Presenter was clear and concise, clearly knowledgeable about the topic
Review by: Daria on June 19, 2013
Excellent speaker, organized info
Review by: Kathleen on June 10, 2013
knowledgeable & personable presenter
Review by: Gina on May 16, 2013
I loved the fact that it can be done online and at my own convenience so that I do not have to miss work to attend a continuing ed conference.
Review by: Charlene S. on May 4, 2013
Logical sequence, good handouts and visuals.
Review by: Jennifer on April 19, 2013
This was a nicely presented course which will be useful in working with premature infants. Nice presentation, great examples!
Review by: Marichelle on April 15, 2013
Good discussion
Review by: Darci on April 15, 2013
The instructor was very experienced and a great teacher.
Review by: Suchitra on March 24, 2013
Presented well and covered all the areas of NICCU involved with PT
Review by: Jennifer on March 16, 2013
Very clear, well organized, and informative
Review by: Cheryl on March 13, 2013
Great presenter. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Review by: Artie on March 5, 2013
Great information and videos for live interaction
Review by: jennifer on February 15, 2013
interesting topic, very organized. i liked the video clips.
Review by: Monica on February 11, 2013
The speaker was informative and presented info in a clear format with added audio-visual aids to assist with learning.
Review by: Charlene on February 10, 2013
The presenter's informal style, familiarity with and organization of material, excellent resources and shared experiences were invaluable.
Review by: Rachel on February 10, 2013
Information provided and the organization
Review by: Joan on January 28, 2013
the extra videos and actually seeing the babies made a difference for what you might see in the NICU
Review by: Chantelle on January 22, 2013
Could print copies of slides
Review by: Jennie on January 5, 2013
Presenter has a wealth of knowlege.
Review by: Tara on December 30, 2012
Great organization of material. Wonderful enthusiasm!
Review by: Caroline on December 12, 2012
Great applicable information. The pictures and short uTube videos were very helpful and uploaded without any problem.
Review by: Cheryl on December 6, 2012
It informed, not overwhelmed the student with PT in the NICU.
Review by: Amy on September 28, 2012
Excellent use of visual aids,Engaging speaker,Evidence used well to prove treatment techniques
Review by: Chaya on September 27, 2012
enjoyed her enthusiasm for her work
Review by: Rebecca on August 28, 2012
Use of videos, more would be even better.
Review by: lisa on August 17, 2012
Very easy to understand. Well organized. Presenter was enthusiastic about subject.

Course Information

This is a recording of a Live Webinars. To ensure you are ready to participate, please complete our short Test Drive to prepare your computer to view the course.

Review Technical Requirements

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Course Presenter

alicia fernandez fernandez

Alicia Fernandez-Fernandez, PT, DPT, PhD

Alicia Fernandez-Fernandez, PT, DPT, PhD graduated from the University of Oviedo (Spain, 1997) with a diploma in physical therapy and practiced in a variety of settings as a physical therapist in Spain before moving to the US and obtaining her M.S. in Physical Therapy at Florida International University (2002). She has practiced at the South Miami Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) 2003-present. She completed a post-professional Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Nova Southeastern University (2010), and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering (2013). She continues to practice in the NICU on a per diem basis. In 2011 she joined Nova Southeastern University as Assistant Professor in the Physical Therapy Department, where she teaches Pediatrics, Kinesiology, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Gender Issues, and Clinical Skills. Her research interests encompass the effectiveness of physical therapy in the neonatal population, functional outcomes of pediatric orthopedic interventions, the use of wearable technology in physical therapy education and patient management, and the development of image-guided therapy agents for cancer.

Disclosure: This presenter has no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

Continuing Education Information

CEUs/Hours Offered: See All State Associations
AK/2.0; AL/2.0; AR/2.0; AZ/2.0; CA/2.0; CO/2.0; CT/2.0; DE/2.0; GA/2.0; HI/2.0; IA/2.0; ID/2.0; IL EITP/2.0; IL/2.0; IN/2.0; KY/2.0; MA/2.0; MD/0.2; ME/2.0; MI/2.0; MO/2.0; MT/2.0; NC/2.0; ND/2.0; NE/2.0; NH/2.0; NY/2.0; OR/2.0; RI/2.0; SD/2.0; UT/2.0; VA/2.0; VT/2.0; WA/2.0; WI/2.0; WY/2.0

California is an approval agency for the Physical Therapy Board of California.

IL Physical Therapy Continuing Education Sponsor

This course is offered for 2.0 hours (Introductory level) by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (Sponsor License #216000252).

Illinois Early Intervention Training Program


This course is offered for 2 hours (Introductory level, Category 2) by the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association (Provider #CS80-2012-KPTA).


This course meets the basic criteria of the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 0.2 CEUs.

New York is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Physical Therapy as an approved provider of physical therapy and physical therapist assistant continuing education.

Passing an online exam will be required to earn continuing education credit, where applicable.

Please Note: The exam and course evaluation must be completed within 30 days of course registration.

Event participation is free, but you must be a CEU Total Access member to complete the exam and earn the continuing education credit.

We recognize that state CE requirements are constantly changing. If you have any questions regarding our courses and your state requirements, please contact us at 866-782-6258 or

If you have any technical questions or problems related to this course,
please contact toll free at 866-782-6258