The Power of Words: Examining the Linguistic Landscape of Pediatric Nursing


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Abstract

The purposes of this article are to increase pediatric nurses’ awareness of language use and to suggest strategies that foster therapeutic communication for the benefit of children and parents. The use of jargon, labels, metaphors, and parental expressions of stress are examined from the context of therapeutic communication in nursing practice. Evidence of language use is substantiated by theory, submissions to a Web site that features narratives from youngsters coping with disease and disability, and interactions with children in hospitals. Practice recommendations are made for the integration of language that protects children’s self-esteem.

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