Chapter 1: Welcome!

Sreevarenya J -

Thurs 01. 08. 2024

Good Morning Everyone! 

Welcome to my blog! This is Sreevarenya Jonnalagadda and I am a senior at BASIS Phoenix. Over the next few months, I will be writing about all of my experiences (the good and the bad) as I construct my senior research project. 

Did you know that around 6 % of women take drugs during their pregnancy? In recent years, as the opioid epidemic becomes more widespread in the United States, there have been an increasing number of cases that report illicit substance use during pregnancy. This results in a condition known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome a.k.a NAS is a condition that affects newborns who receive opioids or addictive substances through the placenta while they are in utero. These babies often experience severe withdrawal symptoms and are required to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for an indefinite period of time under the care of specialized staff while they recover. 

However, literature on this subject matter has described NAS babies as very “hard to take care of”. Because of the extreme pain from withdrawal, these babies present with symptoms such as tremors, seizures, overactive reflexives, feeding problems, high-pitched and excessive crying, all which are difficult to soothe. 

Although various medical professionals provide care for premature infants throughout their stay at the NICU, nurses play an integral role in the care and improvement of these babies.  From taking care of feeding to administering medications, nurses are constantly helping these babies get better. However due to this wide range of tasks, a majority of nurses experience stress while working with such highly vulnerable patients. This stress is further elevated with the addition of caring for an NAS baby along with regular neonates.

Additionally, although previous literature on the subject has understood the overall mental health of nurses that work with NAS babies using surveys and interviews, there has been no attempt to research burnout more specifically. Hence, my project will be using the scientific version of the burnout assessment tool to quantify the risk of burnout in nurses that work with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. I will be working with the nurses at two different institutions (with different methods of care regarding Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome) to understand whether different practices could affect risk of burnout/exhaustion. 

The current title of my project is: “A Quantitative analysis on relationship between methodology of care and risk of nurse burnout in the context of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.” I hope you learned something new. 

Thank you for reading!

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