Saturday, 23 August 2014

Less pain more gain.....preparing children for the hospital

We are preparing for 7 of our children to see a team of doctors at Children's Hospital.  For our appointment we need to spend a day travelling each way so "hoteling" is also required.  Even when one child has an appointment we bring a support person which helps us focus on the child's needs and answering the doctors questions but with 7 being seen we will be bringing multiple support people.  This is going to be a grand adventure getting all of us to the hospital and through the appointments but we are hoping it will all be worthwhile and the doctors will provide us with some insight into our children's challenges.

It is important to prepare the children for a successful time at the hospital and with the doctors.  

Always tell your child ahead of time about any medical appointments or procedures.  You know your child best and know how much preparation time is required for your child to process the information and ask any questions they may have.

Prepare your child for their appointment by explaining what they can expect to happen and what is expected from them.  It is important to be truthful with your child, quite often children are worried if the procedure will hurt.  If there will be discomfort be honest and explain why it is required.  Depending on the procedure we will watch videos, read stories or role play to help the child understand what will happen.

Before the appointment, work with your child to find ways to help them be comfortable while at the appointment.  One of our daughters gets so worked up when bloodwork is required that it becomes more difficult for the lab technician and makes the procedure very traumatic.  We have found that practicing being still, deep breathing and relaxing has improved this procedure.  We also always bring a comfort item and something to do while waiting for the procedure.

During the procedure focus on distracting your child so the medical professional can do what is required.  Don't let your emotions get the best of you, stay calm, and reassure your child.  We usually chat about something fun we have recently done or something that's coming up.

After the procedure comfort your child and acknowledge their success.  Over the next couple days talk about the appointment, discuss why it was required and tell them what a good job they did.

We will be taking time to visit some tourist attractions and have some distraction fun also while away.  Getting to and from these appointments and the length of time at the hospital is extensive so we want the children to have some positive memories that hopefully out weigh the appointment.

1 comment:

  1. A useful post for many I'm sure. I hope your hospital trip goes well.

    Thanks for linking up to #WASO x