Keeping a family together during a trauma situation reduces anxiety and fear for both the child and the parent(s). New research from Children's National Medical Center found that a family centered approached in the emergency room calmed the child and family. Allowing the family to be present in the ER lets them understand what is going on, feel a part of the medical care provided, and able to ask questions. For the child, a familar face in the ER helps them cope better.

Even though some healthcare professionals may express concerns with family presence in the ER, the study found no negative effect on the clinicians' ability to provide care. Proponents of family centered care do advise caution and common sense when allowing family members in the ER, emphasizing the use of psychosocial services when appropriate and not allowing the family in the room if seeing a child with severe trauma would do more harm than good.

Does your hospital or ER implement a family-centered care approach?