Award Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate


Brain Health

First Committee Member

Donna Costa

Second Committee Member

Jefferson Kinney

Number of Pages



Occupational therapists have been collaborating with the parents of our tiniest patients in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for quite some time. They have a wealth of information and expertise in the area on infant development and parent education. Admitting a baby to the NICU is a shock for most parents and can take a toll on a family. The role of the occupational therapist is to help educate the family and to provide the tools to safely take care of their baby and to smoothen the transition from the hospital to home.

In the NICU, the OT has an important role which is to educate the parents and caregivers. Throughout the baby’s hospitalization, the parents are taught a variety of topics from infant development, sensory development, basic baby care (swaddling, bathing Kangaroo Care, etc.), feeding, proper positioning, infant safety, and safe sleep practices. These topics are covered prior to the baby being discharged from the NICU, so that parents and caregivers feel comfortable and prepared to take home their bundle of joy.

A parenting manual for first-time parents in the NICU has never been created and a product of this type does not exist on the market. There are many baby books, but there are no parenting manuals that have a journal-like format where parents can write down their personal thoughts, what happened with their baby, reminders, and notes. The final Doctorate Capstone and parenting manual were created to address this need and to help parents organize the information they received in the NICU. It allows parents to have the information at their fingertips once they return home with their baby.


Brain; Occupational therapy; Infants--Care


Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Occupational Therapy

File Format


File Size

640 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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