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2016 Small Grants Winner

Milena Frazer, RN

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
Improving Thermoregulation in Our Low Birth Weight Population in the Golden Hour

At what institute are you currently conducting your research?

I’m conducting my research at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s NICU in Hartford, CT with an amazing and supportive unit. My co-researcher is Amy Ciarlo, RN, and our mentors are Carrie-Ellen Briere PHD, RN and Jill Herr NNP. Also, our medical director Dr. James Moore and nursing director Marge Julian have cheered us on all along the way.

What is the main focus of your research?

Our research is working to improve delivery room/admission thermoregulation for low birth weight babies. Through Vermont Oxford Network data we realized that other units were much better at preventing hypothermia on admission with LBWs. Our unit has some environmental barriers to managing temperature regulation and we realized there was a need for additional staff education. We have already made great strides improving our admission temperatures and look forward to our continued success.

How did receiving the NANN Research Institute’s Small Grants Award positively impact your career?

The opportunity to come out to NANN’s conference in the Fall to accept my grant will allow me to network and meet fellow NICU nurses. I hope to share our work and learn about what other NICUs are doing with similar issues or concerns. As a bedside NICU nurse for 17 years I’ve been lucky to make a difference with so many babies but this grant will allow me to make an impact on a bigger scale.

Why is your work important and how does it advance the field of neonatal nursing?

The dangers of hypothermia for babies is clear in the literature however many units like ours struggle to remain consistent with admission thermoregulation. The World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics have brought thermoregulation to the forefront but there are level IV NICUs that still need to work and make protocols to prevent hypothermia. I believe that continued awareness and education along with proper equipment and training is the key to preventing LBWs from unintended hypothermia.

In what ways does NANN membership add value to your professional development?

I’m able to attend the national conference in the Fall which will allow me attend a variety of interesting colleagues. I could also have discussions in forums directly with neonatal staff from all over the country about their units’ practices. In addition, my NANN membership has given me access to several publications with up to date neonatal nursing news that are relevant to my current practice.