During my NICU rotation I had the opportunity to work-up a patient with neonatal abstinence syndrome. The care of this patient, brought up several questions regarding NAS medications by the nurses, which prompted me to decide to offer an NAS in-service.
This was my first in-service provided, and it was very interesting! I had the opportunity to present, not once, but individual times to ensure that I spoke with the majority of the NICU nurses on all of the NICU pods (mini-wards).
Some things I learned after doing this in-service:
- Try to keep the audience engaged by doing demonstrations (e.g. how to make phenobarb to administer for neonates), asking questions after a section (e.g. why do you think we wait 30 minutes before reassessing if the patient needs a breakthrough dose of morphine), and pausing in between sections to see if my audience has any questions (and thereby giving them some time to digest the information)
- To tailor my in-service based on which nurses are there (are they new? students? really experienced? easily distracted?) if they were newer or student nurses I tried to emphasize some of the aspects of NAS that they likely never have dealt with (e.g. the modified finnegan scoring sheet, to distribute a methadone mom’s breastmilk consistently over the day)
- To be mindful of the time – the nurses are still in charge of their patients and their care, so it was especially important for me to give them a digestable amount of information in a quick amount of time so as not to take them away from their patients for too long (15 minutes felt most appropriate).
- Handouts work! – The nurses were very appreciative of the one pager handout that they could add to their own resources and refer to at a later date.
Please see for my handout: Nursing in-service: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
I believe I will have an in-service opportunity in my next rotation and look forward to apply what I have learned!