Skin Care Guidelines for the Neonate Aged 23-30 Weeks

Skin Care Guidelines for the Neonate Aged 23-30 Weeks

Skin, the largest organ of the human body, has many important functions; among them are thermoregulation, acting as a barrier against toxins, and secreting water and electrolytes. Traditionally, skin care in the neonatal intensive care unit has been handed down from more experienced nurses to new nurses. Today’s neonatal nurses realize the importance of utilizing evidence based guidelines to guide their care, which includes the area of skin care. The purpose of this education project is to provide scientific based education to the neonatal nurses working at a university based hospital. The specific education being proposed is on skin care for the premature infant age 23-30 weeks gestation. A premature infant’s skin is underdeveloped and thinner than full term infants, placing them at risk for sepsis, dehydration, and hypotherma, among other physically detrimental side effects. In fact, infants are discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit with significant scars. The proposed education is an eight hour classroom based course that will be offered to newly graduated and experienced nurses alike. Topics included are: a discussion on skin functions, how skin develops, the effect of nutrition on skin, skin assessment, skincare guidelines for infants 23-30 weeks, evaluating and documenting skin conditions, and case study and discussion. Offering this course will provide a set of guidelines for neonatal nurses to follow in providing skincare to premature infants, therefore decreasing the incidence of iatrogenic injuries.


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