Doha, 22 September 2019: Last week the Qatar Neonatal Nursing Network (QNNN), a network of neonatal nurses from across Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Sidra Medicine, and other healthcare facilities in the country, hosted its inaugural symposium, which coincided with International Neonatal Nurses Day, observed this year on 15 September.
The symposium was attended by around 250 neonatal nurses from HMC, Sidra Medicine, and private sector hospitals. The event’s keynote speaker was internationally renowned Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo, a certified neonatal nurse practitioner, academic, and researcher. Dr. Campbell-Yeo holds appointments with the Departments of Pediatrics, Psychology, and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, and heads a research lab that is focused on the development of innovative and non-invasive healthcare interventions that engage mothers and families in the care of their infants.
Dr. Hilal Al Rifai, Medical Director of Women’s Wellness and Research Center (WWRC), said the symposium was designed to highlight clinical best practices across a broad range of topics involving the care of infants.
“This symposium was a great opportunity for neonatal nurses in Qatar to learn about recent advances in neonatal medicine and how to apply this knowledge to managing high-risk neonatal patients. Neonatal patients now have a far greater chance of not only surviving but also thriving due to advances in neonatal medicine and the dedicated care they get from our neonatal team,” said Dr. Al Rifai.
Dr. Al Rifai added that the symposium and QNNN provide neonatal nurses with an important opportunity to network with their colleagues from across Qatar’s hospitals. Ms. Julie Kearney, a Clinical Nurse Manager at Sidra Medicine’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), echoed this sentiment, saying the QNNN is a platform for networking with nursing colleagues and sharing information about current methods and new trends in neonatal nursing and medicine.
“I have experience working within neonatal nursing networks for many years in the UK so I’m excited to be a part of establishing a neonatal nursing network here in Qatar. As Sidra Medicine is a level 4 surgical referral center, we must have collaborative working relationships with the other neonatal units in Qatar. Networks can raise standards of care through shared learning and standardization of practice. I very much look forward to working with my neonatal nursing colleagues across Qatar,” said Ms. Kearney.
Ms. Vicki Kilmurray, Director of Nursing at WWRC’s NICU highlighted the important role neonatal nurses play as advocates, adding that caring for a hospital’s smallest patients takes specialized training and a unique skill set.
“Throughout the patients and families time in the neonatal unit, it is the neonatal nurses who advocate for them and their family. This places neonatal nurses in the unique position of building trust and rapport with the families in their care and is a great opportunity to facilitate patient and family-centered care, the importance of which is outlined in both Qatar’s National Health Strategy 2018–2022 and HMC’s Nursing and Midwifery Strategy 2018-2022,” said Ms. Kilmurray.
“The Qatar Neonatal Nursing Network is intended to be the professional voice that shapes neonatal nursing throughout Qatar. Its mission is to represent neonatal nursing at a national level, to facilitate its development, and to optimize utilization of evidence-based nursing care for all neonatal patients and their families,” added Ms. Kilmurray.
The QNNN was established in 2018 by a group of neonatal nurses from different healthcare providers across the country. The Network was established under the leadership of the Qatar Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine Network and supports the aims of Qatar’s National Health Strategy 2018-2022. Major objectives of the Network include the standardization of nursing care of neonatal patients throughout all facilities in Qatar and the promotion of research that is neonatal-nurse lead.