Fatigue in the Acute Care and Ambulatory Setting

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Nurses commonly assess their patients for symptoms and intervene to ease any patient distress, yet children are seldom asked about feeling fatigued. The existing pediatric literature suggests that fatigue goes unrecognized and therefore untreated in children, particularly children experiencing stressful events, such as illness and/or hospitalization. In an effort to better understand the presence of the symptom in our environment we conducted a program specific point prevalence survey. Data were collected on nine inpatient and 11 outpatient units of a university affiliated tertiary care children's hospital. Overall, this sample reported higher levels of fatigue than published data from their healthy and chronically ill peers by total fatigue score and sub scores. This brief description of the symptom in our inpatient and ambulatory settings has provided information that will inform our nursing practice and drive future research.

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