What exactly do nurses know about trauma informed care? A great deal according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress and Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing.
The study, which surveyed 232 nurses across five level I and level II pediatric trauma centers about their knowledge, opinions, and current practices in addressing psychological recovery in their injured patients, found that more than 90 percent of the nurses surveyed recognize the importance of attending to psychosocial needs as part of trauma nursing care, and 75 to 80 percent report that they encourage parents to turn to family and friends for support and help parents manage a child’s pain and anxiety during procedures. However, the study revealed gaps in certain practices, such as asking directly about emotional reactions or helping children and parents cope with difficult experiences.
To help nurses build on the skills they already possess and to promote full recovery in the pediatric patients they treat, the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress is now offering free continuing education courses in trauma-informed care at HealthCareToolbox.org. The training is based on the “DEF Protocol” which helps healthcare providers address distress, emotional support, and family needs in a systematic manner.