Interactions Between Children and Pediatric Nurses at the Emergency Department: A Swedish Interview Study

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Abstract

Admission to an emergency department can be considered a stressful event for both the child and the family. Due to the nature of traumas, illnesses and fatalities it is a chaotic forum in which good communication between child and staff can be difficult to establish.

Purpose:

The purpose of the study was to describe nurses' methods when interacting with children aged three to six at a pediatric emergency department and to identify aspects in need of further investigation.

Methods:

The study included seven nurses who work with children. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results:

The analysis resulted in three main themes; fundamentals for being able to create a good encounter, nurse's adaptations when encountering children and limitations associated with providing child and family-centered care in the pediatric emergency department.

Conclusions:

Healthcare organizations must create time to allow important communication to take place between staff and pediatric patients so that children and families feel safe when being treated. The implementation of effective measures to train staff in communication with pediatric patients is important.

Practice implications:

The child should participate in his/her care and in procedures as much as possible. By listening to children and their parents proposals, especially before invasive procedures, effective ways to handle pain and discomfort may be developed.

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