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NICU Training and Ladder Approach Modules for Occupational and Physical Therapists


Lisa Bader has worked for 21 years as an occupational therapist in all areas of acute and sub-acute hospital care in Omaha, Nebraska. She is also a certified educator of infant massage and instructs parents of premature infants how to massage their infants. She has worked in the NICU over her entire career. The level 3 NICU is a 36 bed unit covered by Lisa and other trained therapists.

Lisa decided to write a training module for physical and occupational therapists wanting to work in the NICU in an effort to ensure high quality care by all therapists entering the NICU. In doing so, she has developed a systematic structure of learning for therapists wanting to work in the NICU based on AOTA and APTA guidelines. The Training Module is also an excellent resource for training new therapists or for students you may be mentoring.

Lisa wrote the Ladder Approach in 2012 and has been using it since 2009 in her NICU with great success. It is an innovative and structured approach to the delivery of therapy services in the NICU. THE LADDER APPROACH WAS REVISED IN 2017 to add all of the great changes and advancements in therapeutic care. It carefully describes various treatments and the evidence based science behind each treatment. The Ladder Approach is an excellent resource for justification of our valuable services while giving specific treatment techniques to use on your unit.

Lisa speaks at local and national conferences and educates and consults in NICUs around the country regarding developmental care and therapy in the NICU. She received the Nebraska Occupational Therapist of the Year Award in 2010 for her contributions to the profession and The Spirit of Mission Award in 2011, the highest honor given through her hospital system for living its Mission.

See Lisa's article published in the Neonatal Network - The Journal of Neonatal Nursing (2014) here - Brain-Oriented Care in the NICU: A Case Study

Lisa's article, "Developing a Delicate Touch", was featured in Advance magazine, the nation's occupational therapy news magazine. Click here to view the article.

See Lisa's published article in OT Practice, "Intervention Techniques in the NICU here.

See Lisa's 2012 published article, "What Snakes Taught Me about the NICU" here.

See the 2012 Therapist Survey Results created and administered by Lisa here.

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