Assessment of the Newborn

Understand the importance of the newborn physical assessment and learn how to conduct one.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $64 Find out more

Learn how to perform a newborn physical assessment

The physical examination of a baby in the first hours of life is an essential part of newborn care and an important event for parents.

On the course, you’ll learn from neonatal nurses, who are experts in newborn care. You’ll find out why the neonatal assessment is so important, and the value of involving parents.

By the end of this course, you’ll know the steps for performing a head to toe assessment of a newborn. You’ll also know how to discuss the perinatal history, determine gestational age and assess newborn development.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsThe physical examination of a baby in the first hours of life is an essential part of newborn care and an important event for parents. The first question asked is often, "Is my baby OK?" Hello, I'm Dr. Victoria Kain, and I'm excited to have you join me on this course. Together we'll explore a range of physical and neurological examinations performed shortly after a baby is born. You'll learn methods to determine the gestational age of the infant, which can be useful if the mother's dates are uncertain, along with step-by-step instructions for undertaking a head-to-toe assessment of the newborn.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsYou will also develop an understanding of what is considered to be normal and potentially abnormal and look at why it's important to collect a maternal history in conjunction with the assessment. The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University is globally renowned for supporting transformative change in maternity care. Register now and learn from neonatal nurses who are passionate experts in newborn care. I look forward to meeting you in this course and helping you develop the skills and knowledge you'll need to confidently undertake a newborn assessment. See you soon.

What topics will you cover?

  • Preparing to conduct a newborn assessment.
  • Why collecting a maternal history is an important element of the overall assessment.
  • Step by step instructions for performing a head to toe physical assessment of the newborn.
  • Techniques for determining gestational age.
  • Assessing the development and reflexes of the newborn.
  • Common newborn challenges.
  • Newborn skin care.
  • Evaluating interactions between the mother and their newborn.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Perform a newborn assessment using a systematic head to toe approach, identifying both normal and abnormal characteristics.
  • Assess the gestational age of the newborn.
  • Discuss the benefits of parental and newborn bonding.

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals. It is also suitable for anyone interested in neonatal assessment, including parents and families.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Victoria Kain

Dr Victoria Kain

I am a senior academic, neonatal clinician, neonatal textbook author and researcher. I am currently the Director of Undergraduate Nursing Programs at Griffith University.

Dr Elizabeth Forster

Dr Elizabeth Forster

I am a senior academic, paediatric nurse, author of two Australian paediatric nursing textbooks and researcher. I am currently Program Director of Paediatric Nursing at Griffith University.

Who developed the course?

Griffith University

Griffith University was created to be a different kind of university—challenging conventions, responding to trends and pioneering solutions through innovative teaching and research.

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