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Meet Teka Siebenaler, AARC Representative to the Neonatal Resuscitation Program

 Published: February 9, 2022

By: Debbie Bunch

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RTs who care for newborns are often required to be certified by the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). The AARC sends a representative to the NRP Steering Committee (NRPSC) to ensure the RT’s voice is heard in any decisions affecting the program. Our current representative is Teka Siebenaler, MPH, RRT, the ECMO/VAD and CRRT program manager at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, KY.

In this interview, Teka shares what she has learned about the NRP during her service. She also outlines her role within the multidisciplinary group of liaisons and consultants who work with the NRP.

How long have you been a neo-peds RT, and what drew you to the area?

I knew I always wanted to work in medicine, but after my son was born and spent two weeks in the NICU on a ventilator with chest tubes, I knew I wanted to work with infants. Because of his health needs, I met many wonderful RTs along the way and decided this was the field for me!

For our readers who may not be that familiar with the NRP, tell us a little about the program and why is it important for RTs who work with infants to be certified by the group?

The Neonatal Resuscitation Program guidelines were first published in 1987, and they provide a standardized approach to caring for the newborn in the hospital setting. NRP is a training standard for all providers — RTs, RNs, midwives, and physicians — who are given the opportunity to care for this patient population.

How many organizations besides the AARC send a representative to the NRP Steering Committee?

There are several other representatives, including those from the Canadian Pediatric Society; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Association for Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses; and National Association of Neonatal Nurses, along with those from several American Academy of Pediatrics committees.

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What role do you play as the AARC’s representative, and how do you bring the RT’s voice to bear on the NRP’s decisions?

My role is to answer questions regarding equipment, oxygen, or ventilation modalities, to advocate for the RT voice on the care spectrum, and to be available to the Steering Committee to review grants, assist with document review, and answer questions from the NRP community, if needed.

I also bring AARC reports back to the NRPSC so they are aware of current programs, initiatives, and concerns that may impact the care of the neonate in the delivery room or beyond.

What are some of the most recent developments at the NRP, and how do you think these developments are helping to ensure the highest possible quality of care for infants?

The NRP continues to evolve and acknowledge new developments in neonatal medicine, evaluating and assimilating any recommendations by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) and consensus statements issued by ICLOR’s Consensus on Science with Treatment Recommendations, or CoSTR.

The NRPSC is incredibly thoughtful in its recommendations and it has been an honor to be a part of the conversations regarding the 8th edition of the NRP.

Learn more about the Neonatal Resuscitation Program and how you can take the course.

Email newsroom@aarc.org with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Debbie Bunch

Debbie Bunch is an AARC contributor who writes feature articles, news stories, and other content for Newsroom, the AARC website, and associated emailed newsletters. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, photography, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. Connect with Debbie by email or on AARConnect or LinkedIn.

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