Neonatal Examination and Behavioural Assessment


Neonatal Examination and Behavioural Assessment

This module will enable practitioners to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to competently undertake a full health and physical assessment of the neonate. (For this module, the term 'neonate' is used to represent the time from birth to the first six weeks of life.) 

FC3D008 TBC 6 months September


  • Social and environmental factors. Maternal and family health issues. Foetal development. Antenatal influences on development.  Gestational assessment. Anatomy and physiology of foetal/neonatal systems. 
  • Cardio-vascular, renal, nervous, skeletal, respiratory, digestive, reproductive and immune.  Normal neonatal development and deviations from the normal. Genetics. Bio-chemistry, microbiology etc. 
  • Labour and delivery management influences. Adaptation to extra uterine life. Diagnosis of deviations from normal. Systematic examination of the neonate (for example auscultation of heart sounds, hips, eyes etc).
  • Congenital and familial factors influencing development. Psychological impact of childbirth on the neonate. Family centred care. Development of parenting skills. Social attachment. Child protection.
  • Professional issues. Accountability, law, ethical issues. Record keeping. Assessment and care planning skills, to include physical, psychomotor and cognitive skills of the examiner. Effective communication skills. Multidisciplinary collaboration.  Referral skills.

The module is aimed at post registration midwives and nurses working with neonates. Applicants will need to be working within a neonatal environment (midwfery, health visiting or neonatal unit) in order to achieve the clinical competencies and access a relevant placement.

 The legal and ethical discussion paper will be submitted halfway through the module. The case study and clinical learning outcomes are submitted at the end of the course.

Formative assessment

Active participation in case scenario/active learning/group discussions.

Summative assessment

  • A discussion paper of 2000 words exploring the legal and ethical issues related to midwifery/nursing practitioners undertaking neonatal examination and behavioural assessments - 20%
  • A 3,500 word case study focusing on an aspect of interest specific to neonatal assessment looking at the sociological, physiological and psychological affects - 80% 

Practice assessment 

Undertake a minimum of 25 neonatal examinations carried out within the clinical environment and supervised by a paediatric registrar or appropriate experienced practitioner. These examinations completed under supervision will facilitate the student in developing the skills that will be assessed by the final five pass/fail examinations. Achievement of clinical learning outcomes and a final five neonatal examinations assessed by an appropriate senior practitioner, which will include questions as appropriate to the situation.

Interested in Applying?