Much of our extraordinary ability to advance the art and science of nursing relies on our access to valuable and rare tools, such as the school’s Biobehavioral Lab (BBL). Established in 1989, the BBL stands apart from most clinical laboratories by using non-invasive monitoring and portable instrumentation to provide practical, actionable and highly educational research results. Its services are highly sought after and used to great effect by school and University faculty, as well as the surrounding scientific community.
The BBL has been used extensively by the UNC School of Nursing-led “Feeding Flock,” a team of researchers who focus on preventing, identifying and managing feeding difficulties among infants and toddlers. Observational studies conducted in the BBL have enabled our nurse researchers to improve critical feeding-related interactions between mothers, children and daycare providers to ensure children are neither over- nor underfed. And practical tools, such as a specially designed nipple that tracks how much a child is eating, have been developed by the BBL team to take the guesswork out of a new mother’s responsibilities and give her peace of mind.
By better understanding how people function on a biological and psychosocial level, our nurse-scientists can make groundbreaking discoveries that lead to very practical and useful outcomes, leading to healthier lives for all.