One nurse was supported to do a post graduate paper at AUT

Her Story.......

Neonatal Trust Education Scholarship reflection 2023

Course: Neonatal Pathophysiology AUT semester one.

During this course I learnt in great detail about different neonatal conditions and the aetiology and pathophysiology behind them. Each health system was explored and the conditions that related to them. A major part of this paper was learning about how maternal and environmental factors influence the development of neonatal illnesses. This paper taught me to fully understand the "why's" and "how's" of neonatal conditions therefore providing more insight into the interventions necessary to treat the patient. This has greatly influenced my clinical practice as I now feel that I can more accurately care for neonates with different conditions. In addition, I feel that I am prepared to solve problems that may arise as I have a deeper understanding of what physiological process are happening. Furthermore, engaging in post graduate study has also improved my academic writing, and verbal presentation skills. I thoroughly enjoyed this paper and I am very grateful that the Neonatal Trust could support me with developing my education and clinical skills. 



Our two psychologists were supported to help with their accommodation to attend the World Association for Infant mental Health congress held in Ireland

Their story.....

It is with appreciation for your scholarship that I write a brief note about my trip to Dublin and the World Congress of Infant Mental Health, and London.

WAIMH Dublin 2023.

To sum it up WAIMH was an experience. It was wonderful to be in a space surrounded by people who have a shared passion for infant mental health.  You could feel the enthusiasm for the care of infants and their whanau.  Some of my take-aways from the conference include:

  1. Clarity on the difference between infant mental health and perinatal mental health and how any service addressing the needs of babies and their family’s needs to have both skill-sets to really do the job well.  The psychology role in NICU sits under the Child Health umbrella and has the infant as the patient.  We are infant mental health informed as we support whanau through the lens of the infant and what the infant needs to thrive – mentally well parents.
  2. Mentalizing (the ability to understand one’s own and others’ mental states, thereby comprehending one’s own and others’ intentions and affects) is a really effective strategy and concept to be utilizing in our work with dyads and is integral to supporting the developing of strong parent/infant bonds. It was fascinating to hear the practical experiences of therapists using this modality in their practise.
  3. Validation. Ella and I are doing a good job.  We are practising in an evidence-based manner and utilising frameworks and theories that are endorsed and used around the world. We are developing a service here that is biculturally minded and cohesive with services internationally.

We met fellow Kiwi’s at the conference, building relationship and feeling connected to a group of practitioners in New Zealand was wonderful and will strengthen our working relationships locally (the Mothers and Babies Service) and nationally. 

Our own contribution to the conference was a poster on Developing the First Neonatal Psychology Service in Aotearoa.  This was well received by our peers and we received a lot of positive feedback around it.  We had some wonderful conversations with clinicians from Scotland, Ireland and England about our work, our learnings and their projects and service development opportunities – even those from neonatal units wanting to employ psychologists. 

For me the real highlight of this trip was the day spent in London.  The morning was spent at St Georges Hospital Neonatal Unit, I successfully navigated the underground to get there ?. This ward has similarities to ours including number of beds, psychology FTE and range of care.  Ella and I spent time with the psychologist, asked lots of questions, got to look around their unit and contributed our own ideas and learning. This was a stimulating time that felt very mutual.