As the year comes to a close, our blog covered many topics ranging from pediatric medical traumatic stress, to trauma informed care, healthcare professionals' self care, and adverse childhood experiences. Check out the top 10 most popular blog posts of the year:
10. How Full is Your Cup? - No one likes to talk about it. No one has enough time for it. However, self care is an essential part of providing trauma informed care. Stress happens to all of us, so what makes working in healthcare unique?
Working with ill and injured children and families, who are often traumatized, exposes you to other's emotions and distress. In turn, this exposure increases your own stress. When left un-managed, stress can take a toll on you and your patients. Unfortunately, years of experience doesn't provide immunity to stress. Without self care, stress accumulates and impacts your own health and well-being.
9. The Missing Link in Trauma Informed Care? - Many factors come into play when doctor and nurses practice through a trauma informed lens. There's the fundamental understanding of the traumatic nature of medical care and that patients may arrive with an array of previous traumas. Emphasis is placed on the assessment of the patient and family's distress, emotional needs and family supports, with referral to mental health services as needed.
8. When Your Patient Doesn't Say "I Can't Deal" - 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? How often do you find yourself shopping for a well needed item and find that the item is way more expensive than you expected? You suddenly “just can’t deal” with these price. But some way, somehow, you always do deal with it.
7. What is a PTE and How to Help Patients - Why can some children and families, after experiencing an injury or illness, bounce back and cope effectively and other seem to struggle? Is this due to the severity of the injury or illness, or lack thereof? Environmental factors? Individual factors? Research has shown it's not the objective severity of an event that makes it traumatic, but rather the person's perception of the severity of the event.
6. 4 Tips to Improve Your Pediatric Patient’s Healthcare Experience - Working with children in the healthcare field can be both rewarding and also challenging. Kids can be fearful, have misconceptions and be noncompliant for their treatments. Child life specialists work with children and families to provide psychosocial, emotional support and educate them in a developmentally appropriate approach to help make their medical experience a more positive one (Guest Post by Shani Thornton of ChildLifeMommy.com).
5. More Than the Nice Thing To Do: Does Trauma Informed Care Really Make an Impact on Physical Health? - Providing trauma informed care can often seem like one of those "nice to do" practices, so it's fair to ask if it actually improves physical health outcomes for patients. Rest assured, it does improve health outcomes for patients, but not always in a way many would consider linear. When doctors and nurses provide trauma informed care, they enhance their ability to connect with their patients and families on an emotional level. In turn, this connection builds trust and fosters the idea that the patient and doctor are part of a team.
4. Are Empathy, Family Centered, and Trauma Informed Care All the Same? - Maybe you've completed a course in empathy. Or follow your hospital's family centered care guidelines exactly, every time, with every patient encounter. So of course, without a doubt, you're practicing trauma informed care…right? Yes and no.
3. Working with Children and Families Experiencing Medical Traumatic Stress: A resource guide for mental health professionals - What do mental health professionals need to know about pediatric medical traumatic stress? How can mental health professionals improve their collaboration with medical providers around pediatric medical traumatic stress? What resources and tools are available for professionals working with children and families who have experienced pediatric medical traumatic stress? This resource guide is one source that can support mental health professionals with these questions and more.
2. Practicing Trauma Informed Care Skills - As with most skills, practice makes perfect. Becoming a physician or nurse skilled in trauma informed care takes practice. Addressing distress, grief, emotional support, family stressors, and needs beyond medical care doesn't often lead to a comfortable conversation with a patient and family. Especially the first few times you try. Seeking out opportunities to learn and practice trauma informed care skills makes these conversations less intimidating.
1. Building Resilience In Spite of Adverse Childhood Experiences - By now, you know ACE is an acronym for more than brand of bandages and toxic stress has nothing to do with chemicals. Maybe you also know that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) often leave a lasting negative impact on a child's mental and physical health. What can be done to change course? How, what, or who can help children build resilience when faced with adversity?