how do you quickly establish rapport with kids? any tips?

  1. I am about to start my Ped's rotation.
    I don't have many experience with children, so I am kind of nervous.
    I feel I wouldn't know what to talk to them or built a rapport.. It all just feel really weird..!!
    normally when I see a kid, I ask them what's your name or how old are you? ( i know, its really lame ><)..
    but thats pretty much all I can come up with.. for some reason, it just feels awkward..
    and especially with some children that are just very shy and doesn't really reply to anything you say.

    Peds nurses, what do you do/say when you first meet your patient?
    and any tips on how to quickly built rapport with the patients? =]
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    About miniangel729

    Joined: May '08; Posts: 79; Likes: 10


  3. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    It's hard to have a conversation with very young children. Listen to how their parents, particularly their moms, speak to them and pattern your speech on theirs. You can distract them a bit with your penlight, the bell on your stethoscope, a little toy from your pocket while you're touching them.

    Watch some children's television so you know what their pop culture is... Dora the Explorer, Spongebob, Elmo and that sort of thing. That'll work with the preschoolers. Ask them if they're fans, which characters they like best, what songs they can sing. Ask them if they can count to ten. Ask them to help you.

    With school-age kids, ask them what grade they're in. Ask what subject they like best. Ask if they're into sports, if they can play a musical instrument, if they're in any clubs. You can talk about television and music with them too.

    There are lots of things you can talk to kids about.
  4. by   nursel56
    With kids over around 2 years old, try to get down so that you are the same height and looking at and not down at them, smile a lot and let them lead you as far as the shyness level. If they turn their head away back off a little. Then there are some kids who are outgoing and ready to practically invite you home with them.

    I've found that kids are somewhat like adults in that they respond to you showing interest in something they are wearing or like--- such as lime green "jelly" shoes, a little purse, a T-shirt logo or an action figure. If you seem relaxed they will be (more so anyway) Remember a sick child will regress so you might see behavior that is not on par with the child's age.

    Those are just a few ideas to add in with Jan's. Hope you enjoy your peds rotation!
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I just finished a peds CNS and I always tried to talk to the parents first and then the kids if they were little. If they are school age or older, I try to engage both the parent and child.
  6. by   kessadawn
    Try to give your patients a choice, even the littlest patient needs some control during their hospitalization. You have to give tylenol? Ask them if they want to take it before or after Spongebob is over. Need to give a shot? Let them have the choice of where it goes. Just remember to always give the options, open ended choices will never get an answer!
  7. by   ro2878
    I worked as a ped med asst in a private office before returning to school for my RN (I'm still a student). Don't be nervous - I find it's a lot easier to talk to kids than adults. If you can wear scrub tops with peds characters, that's always an icebreaker. Say "hi friend" when you come into the room. If they have a stuffed animal, ask its name. Explain everything (on their level) what you will be doing & let them hold/touch things like your stethoscope. If they're scared, do what you need to do to their stuffed animal first or to Mommy. For example, pretend to listen to the stuffed animal's heart or lungs or give an injection to the stuffed animal. Make the animal be scared and run away. It always make them laugh! Then have them tell their animal "it's not scary Fluffy...." Let them even put a bandaid on the animal.

    If you gain their trust, kids are pretty agreeable. Of course, you are going to have some kids that are just petrified & clinging to mom or dad and there's pretty much nothing you can do except be a fast as you can be!

    Good luck & have fun!
  8. by   lorjie
    ask them silly questions like "did you drive your mom here? do you have a job?" then act all suprised when they say no - they always get a giggle out of it, especially school age kids.
  9. by   miniangel729
    thank you all so much for the replies! they are all really helpful!!
    I am actually starting to enjoy my peds rotation and consider to go into peds after I graduate!
    tho I think I still need to work on my confidence.. I tend to get nervous when sometimes you work with parents who stares every moves you do.. @@..