An Educational Intervention to Reduce Hypothermia in Preterm Infants

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Purpose: The purpose of this scholarly project is to improve nurses' knowledge levels regarding methods of preventing hypothermia in preterm infants upon admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Design and Methods: A teaching module was developed for NICU registered nurses on thermoregulation of premature infants in the NICU and preventing hypothermia on admission. A pretest was given to test the baseline knowledge of 50 NICU nurses, education was provided, and a post-test was administered six weeks later. The pre-and post-test results were compared to determine if knowledge levels improved. Results: Among nurses who participated in the educational intervention (N=50), paired t-test results indicated a significant association between the pre-and post-intervention hypothermia test scores, with participants in the post-intervention group having significantly higher mean test scores (Mean = 93.5, SD = 8.3) than participants in the pre-intervention group [(Mean = 71.5, SD = 15.1), t (49) = 9.76, p <.0001] indicating an increase in knowledge from pre- to post-intervention. Discussion: The statistically significant test scores support that a periodic educational module for nurses on hypothermia in the NICU can increase hypothermia knowledge, which may help to prevent hypothermia in preterm infants upon NICU admission. Practice Implications: This project's outcome demonstrated the efficacy of a teaching module for increasing nurses' knowledge regarding preventing hypothermia in premature infants.

Preterm infants, Low birth weight, Golden hour, Hypothermia