Coping with Medical Traumatic Stress

Injury and illness are stressful. Hospitals are stressful. Medical procedures are stressful. When a child is ill, injured, in the hospital, or undergoing medical procedures, both the child and his/her parents or caregivers may experience medical traumatic stress. In other words, a child, parent, and other family members may experience feelings of reliving the injury/illness, anxiety, anger, and other emotions and may stay away from places and people that remind them of the injury/illness. 


Children and parents can learn more about medical traumatic stress, what signs and symptoms to look for in their child and family members, what are normal reactions, and when to get help on the brand new Parent and Child pages.



Trauma can be both a medical and psychological event in the eyes of children and families experiencing serious illnesses, injuries, or painful procedures. By enhancing patient centered care with trauma informed care, health care providers can reduce the impact of difficult or frightening medical events, and help children and families cope with emotional reactions to illness and injury.

How Doctors and Nurses Make a Difference with Trauma Informed Care

Healthcare providers are experts in treating illness and saving lives. After attending to the basics of physical health (A-B-C: Airway, Breathing, Circulation), you can promote psychosocial recovery by paying attention to the D-E-F (Distress, Emotional Support, Family).

What is Trauma Informed Care?

Trauma-informed care shares many principles with patient centered care. However, trauma informed care incorporates an awareness of the impact of traumatic stress on ill or injured children and families as a part of treating the medical aspects of the trauma.

Last Updated (Thursday March 21, 2013)



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