Neonatal resuscitation educational experience of staff in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory hospitals

J Paediatr Child Health. 2006 Jan-Feb;42(1-2):16-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2006.00783.x.


Objective: There is international recognition that health personnel involved in deliveries should be adequately trained in neonatal resuscitation. A survey was carried out in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to ascertain the type, frequency and availability of training in neonatal resuscitation to staff who may need to resuscitate an infant at birth. The survey included a self-perception rating of confidence and competence in neonatal resuscitation.

Methods: Questionnaires were sent to 117 hospitals carrying out deliveries in NSW and ACT. Questionnaires were distributed to staff members who may be present at a delivery in a designated 24-h period.

Results: In total, 1457 questionnaires from 101 hospitals were returned and analysed. Overall response rate was 86.3% with 96.1% able to be assigned to tertiary, urban non-tertiary or rural areas. Eighty-five per cent of tertiary respondents had a training programme available to them compared with 59% of urban non-tertiary staff and 31% of rural practitioners. Approximately one-third of respondents in rural and urban non-tertiary units had either never been trained or had training more than 2 years before the survey. In rural areas more than 25% staff were not confident in their resuscitation skills and only 9% felt very competent.

Conclusion: Three-quarters of all births in NSW and ACT take place in rural or urban non-tertiary hospitals where one-third of health personnel are inadequately trained in neonatal resuscitation and many do not feel confident in their skills. Effective neonatal resuscitation training for these areas is urgently required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / education*
  • New South Wales
  • Resuscitation / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires