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NICU Parent-to-Parent Partnerships: A Comprehensive Approach

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Parents of newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) find themselves in a world of unknown medical terminology, advanced technology, and the realization that their dream of a healthy baby has been shattered. The unique partnership with trained parent-to-parent volunteers, who have had previous NICU experiences, enhances professional support and helps new NICU parents adjust to these unexpected challenges. This practice-based article describes the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital NICU Parent-to-Parent Partnership's (PPP) 40-year commitment to the parent-to-parent philosophy and its comprehensive approach to delivering trained volunteer PPP services to NICU families. A historical review of the literature, including this hospital's original research, current programming, recruiting, training, supervision, and survey feedback, is outlined.
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Keywords: NICU; parent support; parent-to-parent; patient- and family-centered care; peer mentors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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