Professional Nurses' Perceptions of Skills Required for Performing Preterm Infants' Follow-up Assessments

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Abstract

Improved perinatal and neonatal care enhances preterm infant survival rates, but the adverse outcomes remain high. Nurses play vitally important roles regarding the follow-up assessments, treatment, and care of preterm infants. This explorative, descriptive study aimed to describe nurses' perceptions of skills required to perform effective preterm infant assessments. Thirteen semistructured interviews were conducted. Identified themes included the role of the professional nurse, the importance of preterm infant assessments, lack of skills and knowledge to conduct quality assessments, formal and continuous development training needs, the absence of assessment tools and physical resources to perform standardized assessments of preterm infants, and the required support and referral systems.

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