Hospitalization may cause anxiety and stress at any age. Fear of the unknown is always threatening. The child who faces hospitalization is no exception. Children are often too young to understand what is happening or are afraid to ask questions. Short hospital stays are becoming more frequent, but even during a short stay, the children may be apprehensive. In addition, the child may pick up on the fears of family care givers. These negative emotions may have negative effect on the child's progress as children are “tuned in” to the feelings and emotions of their caregivers.
The child's developmental level also play an important role I determining how that child handles the stress of illness and hospitalization. The nurse who understands the developmental needs of the child may significantly improve the child's hospital stay and overall recovery.
The New Mowasat Hospital adopted the Child-life Program to make hospitalization less threatening for children and their parents. The nurses, physicians and other health team members works together to help the children meet the developmental, emotional and intellectual needs of hospitalized children.
The Pediatric Unit Atmosphere
An effort was done by the New Mowasat Hospital Pediatric Team to create friendly, warm surroundings for children. This has produced many attractive colorful pediatric settings; walls are with colorful paintings specifically designed with safety in mind, curtains are coordinated with the room designs that are appealing to children.
The nursing staff members of the Pediatric Unit often wear colored smock, as research has shown that children react with greatest anxiety toward the traditional white uniform.
Children are encouraged to wear their own clothing to feel safer.
Treatments are not performed in the child's room but in a treatment room. Using a separate room where procedures are performed, promotes the concept that the child's bed is a “safe” place. All treatments, with no exceptions are performed in the treatment room to reassure the child.
Play is the work of children, and playroom is a vital part of the pediatric unit. The New Mowasat Hospital provides a staff trained in therapeutic play, to coordinate and direct the play activities. Although a well-equipped playroom is of major importance in the pediatric department, children may play out their fantasies and emotions in their own crib or bed if for some reason they cannot be brought to the playroom.
Materials for their particular use maybe brought to them.
All play material was chosen with safety in mind; no sharp edges and no small parts that can be swallowed or aspirated. Toys and equipment is inspected regularly, and constant supervision of children while they are playing is provided for safety.
The Pediatric setting provide rooming-in facilities and encourage parents or family caregivers to stay with their children. The approach helps minimize the separation anxiety of the young child, in particular.
Caregivers are involved in much of the young child's care, providing comfort and reassurance to the child. Families are also encouraged to bring a few favorite toys to the hospital for the child.
In Pediatric Ward, we use primary nursing assignments, so that the same nurse will be with the child as much as possible. This approach gives the nurse the opportunity to establish a trusting relationship with the child.
The Pediatric Ward environment meets all of the safety standards appropriate for other areas of the hospital, including good lighting; dry floors with no obstacles that may cause falls, electrical equipment are checked for hazards, safe bath and shower facilities, and beds in low position. The age and developmental level of the child is considered in the design of the ward as toddlers are explorers whose developmental task is to develop autonomy. Toddlers love to put small objects into equally small openings, are also often climbers. Careful observation from the hospital staff and family caregivers is educated and provided during the child's hospital stay.