Nurse Currents: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: A Healthcare Provider's Role

Program Date: November 2012
Continuing Education Units: 1.0 Nurse Contact Hours

Course Description:

Studies have shown that infants exposed to alcohol prenatally have the best outcomes when they get early interventions, receive quality care from professionals, are discharged to stable nurturing homes and are provided stimulating and stress-free environments by their parents. Nurses are the first healthcare professionals to have an opportunity to work with such families. This article offers information to expand the nurse’s knowledge base about FASD, which is critical to helping the mother-child dyad and to the long-term well-being of the family.

Course Objectives:

  • Discuss the importance of screening all women of childbearing age for alcohol use prior to conception, during pregnancy, and after birth.
  • Identify a fetus/neonate that has been prenatally exposed to alcohol.
  • Describe nursing’s role in screening for alcohol use, identify a neonate with an FASD and work with the infant’s family.
  • Media Format(s): Article (English)

Course Instructor Bio(s)

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Pamela Gillen, ND, RN, CSN

Director COFAS Prevention Program University of Colorado
University of Colorado/ Anschutz Medical Campus/ Colorado AHEC System
Aurora, CO

Pamela has 30 years of experience in the Health and Human Services field, as a public health nurse, nurse coordinator, and nurse case manager for at-risk pregnancies. She works with high-risk women of childbearing age to help prevent FASD/ATOD affected infants. She is Co-chair of the National FASD Center for Excellence Expert Panel for the next 5 years. Pamela lectures nationally on issues that relate to the prevention of FASD.

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Sharon Langendoerfer, MD

Practicing neonatologist and pediatrician for high-risk infants
Denver Health and Hospitals
Denver, Colorado

Sharon has 35 years of practice as a neonatologist and pediatrician. She is a member of the Colorado Fetal Alcohol and Substance Abuse Coalition for the past 20 years and currently an appointed member of the Colrado State Commission on FASD. Sharon has 35 years of volunteer work with the March of Dimes.

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Karen Fehringer, PhD, OTR

Assistant Professor in the Colorado School of Public Health
University of Colorado/ Anschutz Medical Campus/ Colorado School of Public Health
Aurora, CO

Karen practices as a Occupational Therapist at the University of Colorado Hospital NICU. She has more than 35 years experience in NICU, pediatric in and out-patient settings, birth-to-three year programs and school district programs. As a former special education coordinator she specialized in assessment and management of FASD. Karen is currently an appointed member of the Colorado State Commission on FASD.


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