Management of hospitalised children:
I) Help the children feel safe in the strange environment of the hospital:
1. Children should be accepted as they are;-
2. The nurse should be pleasant in an approach.
3. The nurse must create a warm environment.
4. The consistent nursing care should be provided.
5. Appropriate limits should be set.
II) Alleviate fear of the unknown:
Parents and children should be explained about elective hospitalisation.
Children and their parents should be reassured.
Children and parents should be allowed to participate in the care, where possible.
Ill) Allow expression of feelings:
1. Children should be encouraged for verbal expression.
2. Children's feelings should be observed, though play.
IV) Maintain identity as a person:
1. Children should feel that they are cared for as persons.
2. Love and affection should be provided.
3. It is necessary to establish the rapport and develop a trust, in them.
Children who cannot be cared at home or in the health centre or in the O.P.D., may be admitted to the hospital for treatment. Hospitalisation is the disruption of the lifestyle of children and their families.
The children's reactions to the hospitalisation and coping strength depend on the age, developmental stage, body image, fear, reason for hospitalisation, and the previous experience about hospitalisation.
The change from home to hospital environment creates stress. The difference in hospital and home disturbs the child and adds to the stress, for example, environment, mealtime, toileting, feeding, bath time, and recreation.
By understanding these factors, the nurse can explore the child's reaction, describe nursing care to provide safety, promote sleep and rest, manage sensory deprivation, relieve pain, give medications, and assist in other procedures.
It is important to be aware of the variability associated with the life span, in relation to each aspect in the children's daily practices. This will help in accurate assessment, planning of management by modifications during nursing care techniques, for health advice, and to give emotional support through appropriate environment.
One should understand the needs of the child at a particular age. The child must establish trust in caregiver, and he must be encouraged for positive behaviour.
Developing rapport with the help of warm and loving words and allowing parental participation in childcare is important. Necessary information should be given to the parents about the rules, policies, care of the child and preventive measures.