Sometimes as a healthcare provider, you may forget the profound impact your words can have on your patients. Medical settings, hospitals especially, contain many frightening sounds, sights, smells, and an unfamiliar language for children and families. Coupled with what is often times an equally scary diagnosis, it's no wonder patients and their families can have a difficult time coping. Working as a healthcare provider, you can greatly affect your patient's emotional well-being with your words and interactions. By providing trauma-informed care, physicians and nurses can reduce the impact of difficult or frightening medical events, and help children and families cope with emotional reactions to illness and injury. A few simple trauma-informed tips to keep in mind when caring for a patient and their family:
- Explain that feelings of shock, disbelief, or worry are common and expected.
- Slow down your pace when delivering factual information
- Be prepared to repeat important information.
- Ask open-ended questions about fears and worries (e.g. You look a little worried – what worries you the most?)
- Involve the child and parents as much as possible in treatment planning.
What ways do you provide trauma-informed care to your patients?