Some basics for working with hospitalized children:
*Do NOT give them choices for something that they don't actually have a choice about. They have to have VS done, no questions but they do have a choice in some ways. "Should I listen to mommy's heart first?" "Does teddy want his arm hugged?" "Do you want a hug on your arm or your leg?" "Should we check your temperature under your arm or in your mouth?" (this for children who are old enough to cooperate with an oral temp.)
*If you have them, cartoon scrubs
can be an easy way to get kids to open up to you. If they see Dora on your shirt, they'll think of you as less intimidating.
*Check in with your nurses at the beginning of every shift. When I worked in the hospital, there were sometimes very specific things I wanted (i.e. No tympanic temps on infants or craniotomy patients) and just other things that it's good to check in with.
*If a child is alone and needs to be fed, offer to help even if it's not your patient. Babies with no parent at the bedside are time consuming based on that reason alone.
*Don't disappear from the unit just because you think your tasks are done. This was my biggest issue with the NAs that I worked with... when I actually needed help with something, they were nowhere to be found and were later found hiding in the locker room talking on the phone or worse, sleeping in a closet or the treatment room at night.