REGULATING THE EXPOSURE TO CONTINUOUS BRIGHT LIGHT IN THE NEW BORN UNIT: A CHANGE PROJECT AT MOI TEACHING AND REFERRAL HOSPITAL, KENYA

Martina Mukami, Priscah Jepkosgei Mosol, Benson W. Milimo

Abstract


Introduction: Neonates especially the premature are affected by many factors. Neonatal circadian rhythm, growth and feeds retention is influenced by environmental characteristics that can be changed. Infant oral feeding is significantly improved by lower light levels. However, this has not been put in place in most Newborn care Units in Kenya.

Methods: This was a change process done at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital’s newborn unit. The administrator of pediatric department, head of the department (HOD) at New-Born Unit (NBU), the nurse manager, the ward in-charge, nurse in charge of supplies, biomedical officer at NBU and the clinical nurse educator were involved. The change project required some resources and processes.

Findings: At the Newborn Unit at the Moi Teaching and Referral hospital, the available strategies on use of continuous lighting at the NBU were found to be  underutilized by the health care providers due to lack of conviction by the decision makers and the professional leaders. In addition, there was a major challenge in the provision of bed side task lighting hence overhead electric tubes are used during procedures even for one neonate.

Conclusion and Recommendations: The change project sensitized the health care providers on the benefits of cycled light environment for neonates especially for the preterm neonates and encouraged utilization of natural light as much as possible in the ward unless during performance of procedures in need of bright light. The project recommended that all newborn unit staff should adopt nursing neonates in cycled light for researches have proved that it shortens length of stay in hospital.


Keywords


light, New Born Unit, MTRH, Kenya, Change

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