F: Remember the Family

Whether you are caring for a pediatric patient with an injury or illness, remember that many, if not all, aspects of medical care can be traumatizing to both your patient and their families. 

A new addition to a family always requires a period of adjusting. When a baby arrives prematurely however, the family has to adjust not only to its new member, but possibly life in the NICU and the inherent emotional roller coaster of stress and anxiety. 

Three words no one wants to hear: "You have cancer". Or for parents: "Your child has cancer". The diagnosis can be devastating for both the mind and body. 

Whether it's injury or illness, the whole family, parents, grandparents, caregivers, brothers/sisters, all feel the impact of a sick child. Normal routines give way to hospital visits or doctors visits.

Like most other illnesses or injuries, babies born prematurely are at higher risk for many other physical and developmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, vision problems and learning disabilities. Parents  of NICU babies also experience high levels of stress and anxiety as well as traumatic stress reactions and PTSD ...