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What’s Next for Infant Stabilization Education?

When S.T.A.B.L.E. and HealthStream formally announced their partnership and the upcoming launch of their online course set for March 2020, COVID-19 was a distant threat. In fact, it was not until the day of HealthStream’s press release about the partnership that the coronavirus received the name we all know by now, “COVID-19.” Yet with the arrival of March, national shelter-in-place orders were issued, and an unanticipated new reason for online learning existed.

COVID-19 Affirms the Importance of Quality Online Training

“I can’t imagine a better time to have the online course available—it will really address the educational needs of providers during this challenging time,” said Karlsen when discussing the timely launch of S.T.A.B.L.E.’s online course. Due to COVID-19, educators across every field are now pressed to find new ways to teach their students and convert their classroom curriculum into online material. Healthcare providers are not exempt from this, and the partnership between HealthStream and the S.T.A.B.L.E. Program provides a much-needed online option for providers to seamlessly complete their neonatal education program.

Stabilization Is a Key Goal for Pre-Term Infants

When talking about preterm babies, Karlsen explained that 0.7% of all babies born in the United States every year weigh less than one kilogram, and those 0.7% contribute to half of all infant mortality every year. Karlsen feels passionately that stabilization should start the moment the preterm baby is born. “Attention to preventing hypothermia and appropriately supporting breathing can often preclude the need to resuscitate the baby. Following delivery, the S.T.A.B.L.E. curriculum is useful to comprehensively give the baby the best possible start” said Karlsen. Adding to this, Karlsen said, “We have to focus on best practices for taking care of not only extremely low birth weight infants, but all infants.” Using the S.T.A.B.L.E. Program to educate nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, midwives, emergency technicians, and any healthcare provider who may come in contact with an infant is a step towards improving those outcomes.

Focused on Better Neonatal Outcomes

A transition to online programming supports Karlsen’s long existing vision for the program and her hopes for the future of infant stabilization. Twenty years ago she could not have predicted technology would advance her program in this way, broadening the scope of the program through its accessibility. Karlsen explains, “My vision is that every member of the perinatal healthcare team, regardless of birth setting, will participate in the S.T.A.B.L.E. Program education, creating a stronger educational foundation that can be used when taking care of mothers and babies. An online course offering supports this effort by making the S.T.A.B.L.E. curriculum more accessible to healthcare workers in rural areas, midwives, and medical and nursing students who are preparing for their first maternity rotation at the hospital.”

Karlsen’s passion about impacting neonatal outcomes is communicated through S.T.A.B.L.E.’s mission: Provide evidenced-based effective education to help reduce infant mortality and morbidity, improve neonatal outcomes, and improve the quality of life for infants and their families. “If our curriculum reaches one person who goes on to do the right thing for the baby, then we’ve done something very good,” Karlsen concludes.

This blog post excerpts an article, “The S.T.A.B.L.E. Program’s Timely Transition to Online Learning: An Interview with Founder Dr. Kristine Karlsen.” The article also includes:

  • S.T.A.B.L.E.’s Informal Neonatal Transport Education Beginnings
  • Who is S.T.A.B.L.E. for?
  • Furthering the Program’s Reach through Online Education
  • Parallel Growth—S.T.A.B.L.E. Program and the Need for Stabilization Education

Learn more about infant stabilization education by downloading the article.

S.T.A.B.L.E. embodies HealthStream’s commitment to helping clinicians achieve better outcomes in myriad ways, from higher quality, evidence-based perinatal care to decreasing emergency department errors that can have a serious patient impact.

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