Fireside Lectures

Purpose: to provide health professionals working in the NICU (and unable to leave) to hear the review of the latest perinatal neuroscience, particularly the sensory needs of the neonate, and the role of skin-to-skin contact in care, and respond to this.


Many NICU nurses and doctors have difficulty attending lectures as they cannot leave their patients. “Fireside” lectures are conducted in the NICU, where staff can respond to alarms and monitors, and still attend to the topic. This requires a smaller group of attendees, for which a projector is not necessary, the laptop screen can be used directly. I keep my voice level low so as to not disturb babies. Parents can also attend these, specially if the lecture is combined with practical demonstrations that they may consent to afterwards. The timing of these should obviously be such as to meet the staff needs best, and avoid working rounds and busy periods, as far as possible. These meetings also work well in the evenings for the night staff.

The prepared content covers similar areas to the GR, but includes information on the sensory environment of the NICU and the developing brain. With a small group I work flexibly with all the material in my database of slides, and I can change the topic to meet the immediate needs and questions of staff. My own observations of the particular NICU sometimes guide my choice of topics. Time flexibility and a relaxed atmosphere is required, up to two hours to allow for interruptions and interactivity.

This session can stand alone, but is best combined with the option “practical demonstration”.