1. Blackburn, Susan PhD, RN, FAAN

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This column is part of an ongoing series on selected Internet resources that are useful for clinical practice or teaching. Three recommended Web sites are discussed: NICU University; Child Physiology, a site for parents explaining the physiology of various organ systems; and Your Genes, Your Health, an interactive multimedia teaching resource.


NICU University ( provides online continuing education (via narrated PowerPoint slides) for professionals involved in neonatal care, including nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, respiratory therapists, and pharmacists. Registration is required to access the lectures and earn continuing education credits (registration is free). The Nursing Corner for Nurses and Nurse Practitioners is sponsored by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. Recent topics focused on the late preterm infant, shift length and fatigue, patient safety issues in the neonate intensive care unit, congestive heart failure, necrotizing enterocolitis, talking with parents, pathophysiology of being NPO and implications for early feeding, and many other topics. Programs listed are approved for continuing education, usually for 1 contact hour. Other sections include additional lectures on a wide range of topics of interest to neonatal healthcare professionals. Content includes both topical updates and consideration of controversial issues.


"Child Physiology: How the Body Works," developed by The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is an animated, interactive pediatric physiology site ( for teaching parents about physiology. This site can be used in talking with parents, who can also access it later for review. The site continues to grow, with sections currently available on the brain, genetics, skeleton, genital development, heart, kidney/bladder, and lungs/airways. In some sections, the illustrations can be customized for age (infant, toddler, and child) and sex. Also included is a link to a site for explaining patent ductus arteriosus to parents with sections explaining prenatal and postnatal physiology of the ductus, signs of patent ductus arteriosus and how it is diagnosed, and pharmacological (only indomethacin is mentioned) and surgical management.


Your Genes, Your Health ( is a multimedia guide that profiles 15 genetic disorders: fragile X syndrome, Marfan syndrome, hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy, phenyketonuria, Huntington disease, neurofibromatosis, sickle cell disease, hemochromatosis, Tay-Sachs disease, beta-thalessemia, Down syndrome, Alzheimer disease, and polycystic kidney disease. Each section presents key facts for a quick summary of the disorder and links that use animations and videos segments to describe the following: "What is it?", "What causes it?", "How is it inherited?", "How is it diagnosed", How is it treated?", and "What is it like to have it?" This last section uses videos of an individual with the disorder and his or her family who is describing living with the disorder. This is an excellent resource for teaching about the impact of genetic disorders. Your Genes, Your Health was developed by the Dolan Learning Center at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. This site also offers interactive multimedia programs on basic genetics entitled "DNA From the Beginning" ( and cancer biology ("Inside Cancer"


Susan Blackburn, PhD, RN, FAAN


Professor Department of Family and Child Nursing University of Washington, Seattle