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Neonatal Unit - SCBU - PAOP 9

Placement Overview

Placement Title Neonatal Unit - SCBU - PAOP 9
Your Placement Contact Caroline Looby, Vikki Wheeler, Zoe Stephenson, Julie Hobson - Send Email
Placement Contact's Role

Placement Educational Lead

Placement Address Royal Oldham Hospital, Rochdale Rd, Oldham, OL1 2JH
Placement City/Town: Oldham
Placement Phone 0161 627 8151
Placement Web Site
Your University Contact: Kath Holt, Julia Cappleman - Send Email

About this placement

What is organised for students on commencement of placement?

Allocation to a mentor.
Orientation day.
Organising spoke placements with the Neonatal community team, working alongside our Advanced Neonatal Practitioners and attending outpatient clinic.

What are the arrangements for mentors/assessors?

Our students are allocated a mentor and a second mentor to ensure that our students feel fully supported throughout their placement.
Students are supernumerary throughout their placement on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Students will be able to experience effective learning opportunities throughout their placement here.  Students ARE NOT purely observers.

To develop the required skills and achieve the identified learning outcomes, students must participate in clinical activities under the direct or indirect supervision of their mentor/assessor.  Students will discuss with their mentor/assessor the best ways of achieving their learning outcomes for their portfolio of evidence

What shift patterns are students allocated for learning?


07.30-15.30              (30 min break)    7.5 hours


12.30-20.30                (30 min break)          7.5 hours


Night   20.00-08.00              (90 min break)          10.5 hours

Shift Notes:

Long Day 07.30-20.30    (60 min break)        12.0 hours

Breaks are taken when convenient to workload following negotiation with other staff members and you must inform the co-ordinator if you leave the unit during your break please. (This is a safety issue, not that you cannot leave the unit)

What patient care situations are available in this placement?

Our students will experience caring for babies requiring differing levels of neonatal care ranging from Special Neonatal Care, High Dependancy Care and Intensive Care under the direction of their mentor.

Special care (SC) is that provided for all other babies who could not reasonably
be looked after at home by their mother. Babies receiving special care may
need to have their breathing and heart rate monitored, be fed through a tube,
supplied with extra oxygen or treated for jaundice; this category also includes
babies who are recovering from more specialist treatment before they can
be discharged. Special care which occurs alongside the mother is often called
’transitional care‘ but takes place outside a neonatal unit, in a ward setting.

* High dependency care takes place on the neonatal unit and involves care
for babies who need continuous monitoring, for example those who weigh less
than 1,000g (2lbs 3oz), or are receiving help with their breathing via continuous
positive airway pressure (CPAP) or intravenous feeding, but who do not fulfil l any
of the requirements for intensive care.

* Intensive care (IC) is care provided for babies with the most complex problems
who require constant supervision and monitoring and, usually, mechanical
ventilation. Due to the possibility of acute deterioration, a doctor must always be
available. Extremely immature infants all require intensive care and monitoring
over the first weeks, but the range of intensive care work extends throughout
the whole gestation period.

What nursing model is used for planning care?

The neonatal unit’s philosophy reflects the entire care process for the newborn infants admitted to the unit. The Neonatal Unit is a clinical area that delivers rapid and highly competent clinical assessment and treatment processes underpinned by integrated systems of care.

The Neonatal Units philosophy is driven by the Trust Mission Statement:

“to provide the very best care to each patient on every occasion”

This statement is underpinned by the following core values which are:

Patient care is at the centre of everything we do. We work together to deliver a high quality service to provide the best possible outcome for our patients.
Accountability, honesty and integrity are keys to our success both individually and across the Trust.  
Treating everyone with respect and promoting good working relationships will support individuals in reaching their full Potential.

The aim of the Neonatal Unit is to meet the clinical, emotional and spiritual needs of the sick neonate and their families keeping them as the central focus of all that occurs within the unit. Our aim is to ensure patient safety and wellbeing is at the core of our patient care and to maintain the privacy and dignity of those families within our care.

What core clinical skills can be learnt?

Over recent years the chances of survival of the smallest and the most preterm infants relies on specialist levels of neonatal nursing, education and experience of nurses delivering care. To ensure this high quality of care is delivered the Neonatal unit at Royal Oldham, we develop staff with enrolment on the North West Neonatal Induction programme. This course provides a framework and standards of competent care which, when integrated with defined education pathways, are utilised for practice development across the range of neonatal nursing levels. Specialised neonatal nursing is developed over time in clinical practice and is consolidated with enrolment onto the Qualification In Specialist Neonatal Practice Course (QIS).  All our new nurses and midwives undertake an induction programme which relates specifically to the fundamental care of the neonate and their family within a neonatal service. Many of our more long term staff working in clinical roles above QIS level, which is vital in the delivery of Safe Quality neonatal care. Some nurses progress to the enhanced or advanced neonatal nurses’ roles.
In addition to this, a foundation period of learning takes into account both professional and generic competencies to provide a sound basis for further developing knowledge and skills.

What additional clinical skills can be learnt?

As part of the neonatal unit commitment to delivery safe high quality nursing care, all nurses involved in direct clinical care will in time undertake the newborn life support course, appropriate to their role.

What resources are available to help students learning?

Access to Neonatal Textbooks/ Journals
Access to project work undertaken by staff members with a specialist interest i.e. Breastfeeding, Developmental Care on the NNU.  Monthly Hot Topic Board.
Internet access.
Spoke placements.
Interprofessional Learning Sessions.
Nursing and Medical teaching sessions, Varying times and dates weekly.

What research and practice development activities are being undertaken?

We actively participate in Clinical Research studies on the NNU and encourage our students to learn all about our areas of interest.

Spoke Placements

Neonatal community team
Working alongside our Advanced Neonatal Practitioners
Attending outpatient clinic.
Working with shifts with the Speech and Language therapist, breast feeding support team and neonatal dietician.

Additional Information

The NNU is a busy thriving unit with many opportunities for our students to develop an understanding of the principles and practices that contribute to effective High Quality Neonatal Care. We aim to welcome students to our specialist area, in the hope that one day they may decide to join the neonatal workforce of the future.