A module was developed for the NMSP by Auckland District’s LabPLUS, with support from the New Zealand College of Midwives and the Ministry of Health. LabPLUS tests heel prick blood samples for the programme. The heel prick test screens for rare but potentially serious disorders such as phenylketonuria (PKU), cystic fibrosis, and congenital hypothyroidism.

Antenatal and newborn screening programme manager Jasmine Plimmer says all midwives are encouraged to complete the module to update and refresh their knowledge and skills on newborn metabolic screening blood spot sample collection.

“The module is short – about 30 minutes – and interactive; including videos and quizzes and links to other resources. It supports midwives and other health professionals to provide accurate advice and information to parents, so they can make an informed choice.  It has a focus on how to administer a good quality metabolic heel prick test, and get the sample to the lab quickly and in good condition.”

“Anyone with an interest in the field can do them,” Jasmine says. “We have had interest from student nurses and midwives in New Zealand; as well as from midwives returning here. They were keen to do the modules while in managed isolation!”

What the module covers

The module, which is recognised by the Midwifery Council for continuing midwifery education hours, has five topics:

  1. Informed choice and decision making.
  2. Preparation.
  3. Blood sample collection.
  4. Transport.
  5. What happens next.

Other e-learning modules

Other antenatal and newborn screening e-learning modules are also available:

  • Screening Principles and Practice.
  • Quality Improvements in Antenatal Screening for Down syndrome and other conditions (QIASD).
  • Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Intervention Programme (UNHSEIP).
  • Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme (NMSP).

All five modules are available to complete free on LearnOnline

Pātiki and Waharua Kōpito patterns

Complete the newborn screening modules