D: Distress

In the fast paced, often high stakes hospital environment, should doctors and nurses incorporate play with pediatric patients? If so, how can play be used at the bedside? 

All doctors, nurses and other medical professionals strive to minimize the suffering of their patients. Witnessing a patient in pain, especially a child, pulls on the heart strings of all involved.  However, when the patient's pain comes from their emotions, it can feel very uncomfortable and overwhelming.

With any medical condition, be it injury or illness,  it's natural to attempt to shield children from suffering. If the child is the patient, perhaps we tip toe around the severity of their injury or illness. And if they're not the patient, we could leave any explanations as the family's responsibility or speak at the level we believe is above their ability to understand. 

How many times have you been folding the laundry or washing the dishes and heard your teenage daughter sigh, “I can’t deal?” Or how many times have you found yourself scrolling through social media unable to “deal” with the nonsensical things people say and do?

Providing trauma informed care to children and families doesn't (and shouldn't) take much additional time for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. By simply integrating an understanding of traumatic stress in your routine care, you're providing trauma informed care...