top of page


Sleeping Baby
Draft proposed by Professor Simon Lam
Reviewed by Dr Frankie Cheng

Essential Skills

Domain 1 Professional Values & Behaviour

Domain 2 Communication

Domain 3 Procedural skills

  1. Infection control measures

  2. Aseptic technique

  3. Administration of sedation

  4. Blood-taking techniques, including heel prick

  5. Peripheral venous cannulation

  6. Umbilical venous cannulation

  7. Umbilical arterial cannulation

  8. Peripheral arterial cannulation

  9. Intraosseous needle insertion

  10. Lumbar puncture

  11. Airway management and resuscitation

    • Face-mask seal and positive pressure ventilation

    • Intubation (direct laryngoscopy)

    • Use of laryngeal mask airway

    • Use of oropharyngeal/ nasopharyngeal airway

    • Replacing tracheostomy tube

  12. Microbiological study specimen collection

  13. Bladder catheterisation

  14. Thoracocentesis and chest drain insertion

  15. Nasogastric tube insertion

  16. Exchange transfusion

  17. Skills related to cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a neonate

  18. Point-of-care ultrasound, including head ultrasound

Domain 4 Patient Management

Additional desirable skills are listed in each proposal. These recommended skills are to be acquired as opportunity arises

Basic Training

Antenatal factors related to neonatology

Understanding of fetal growth, development and physiology

Knowledge of maternal conditions and treatment affecting the newborn

Knowledge of peripartum factors affecting the newborn


Complications of Prematurity

  • Anaemia of prematurity

  • Apnoea of prematurity

  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia

  • Intraventricular haemorrhage

  • Patent ductus arteriosus

  • Periventricular leucomalacia

  • Respiratory distress syndrome

  • Retinopathy of prematurity


Pulmonary physiology and pathophysiology

Basic pulmonary physiology as related to neonatal ventilation

Common neonatal respiratory conditions:

  • Transient tachypnoea of the newborn

  • Neonatal pneumonia

  • Meconium aspiration syndrome

  • Pneumothorax

  • Pleural effusions

  • Apnoea/hypopnoea in a term infant

  • Congenital pulmonary malformations

  • Congenital malformations causing airway obstruction

  • Congenital anomalies causing respiratory disorders

Non-invasive and invasive ventilatory support

Understanding on operations of invasive and non-invasive ventilation, ventilation/oxygenation strategies

  • Pressure regulation/targeting

  • Volume regulation/targeting

  • Triggering (pressure/flow/Edi)

  • High frequency oscillatory ventilation (interpretation of frequency, tidal volume and DCO2)

  • Use of inhaled nitric oxide

  • Importance of PEEP and its relation with functional residual capacity and compliance

  • Interpretation of trends of ventilator parameters

  • Indications for surfactant therapy


Cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology

Transition from fetal to neonatal physiology

Congenital cyanotic heart disease

Congenital heart disease and heart failure

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn

Principles of management of hypotension in newborn infants

Neonatal neurology

Neonatal encephalopathy

Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy and hypothermic therapy

Neonatal seizure and seizure management

Long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of newborns with prematurity and/or brain injury

Neonatal nutrition

Importance of breastfeeding to normal infants and infants with medical problems

Enteral nutrition and parenteral nutrition

Neonatal emergencies

Early onset sepsis and late onset sepsis

Risk factors

Monitoring and screening of high-risk infants

Sepsis evaluation

Early recognition of sepsis and/or septic shock

Treatment of the septic infant

Appropriate use of antibiotics

Recognition and initial stabilisation of neonates with medical emergencies, e.g., acute metabolic decompensation

Neonatal abnormalities

Recognition and initial management of infants with antenatal

diagnoses, dysmorphic features, suspected syndromal

diagnoses and congenital abnormalities

Common neonatal problems

Neonatal jaundice

Neonatal hypoglycaemia

Infants with common congenital abnormalities, e.g., urinary tract dilatation

Neonatal polycythaemia

Neonatal thrombocytopenia

Electrolyte disturbances in the newborn

Haemolytic diseases of the newborn

Birth injuries

Neonatal abstinence syndrome

Common surgical emergencies

Recognition and initial stabilisation of neonates with surgical emergencies

Medical management of newborn infants with intestinal obstruction, e.g., volvulus

Congenital gastrointestinal abnormalities, e.g., omphalocoele, congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Necrotising enterocolitis

Ethical issues in neonatology

Ethical issues related to borderline viability

Ethical issues related to redirection of care in a neonate

Examination of the well-appearing newborn

Assessment of newborn maturity

Newborn screening assessment

Desirable skills 

  1. Interpretation of neonatal arterial and capillary blood gas results

  2. Interpretation of trends of ventilator parameters

  3. Basic skills of surfactant delivery

  4. Head ultrasound examination

  5. Injection of hyaluronidase for extravasations

  6. Neonatal transport - intra-hospital transportation

Higher Training

Non-invasive and invasive ventilatory support

Advanced modes of ventilatory support

Cardiovascular physiology

Haemodynamic assessments and management of the sick neonate

Indiciation for advanced cardiopulmonary management at tertiary centre

Initial management of newborn with critical cardiac conditions

Common surgical emergencies

Perioperative management of neonates with surgical emergencies 

Neonatal neurology

The use of second line anticonvulsants (e.g., levetiracetam, topiramate)

Use of anaesthetic agents for seizure control

Interpretation of aEEG


Genetic disorders

Genetic evaluation of newborns

Haematological disorders

Neonatal coagulation disorders


Neonatal haemolytic disorders

Renal disorders

Neonatal acute kidney injury

Indications of advanced renal management at tertiary centre

Desirable skills 

  1. Intubation by video layngoscopy

  2. Thin catheter techniques in surfactant delivery

  3. Neonatal transport - inter-hospital transportation

  4. Chest physiotherapy for collapsed lungs

  5. Ascitic tap

  6. Haemodynamic monitoring devices

  7. Multidisciplinary discharge planning for NICU graduates with chronic medical conditions

  8. Quality improvement in neonatology

Remark – Neonatology is not a mandatory part of Higher Training at present. The topics listed in the Higher Training section are intended as a guide to Higher Trainees rotating through neonatology during their Higher Training.

bottom of page