I have always heard that pediatric nurses are the ultimate tricksters,the best at distracting children.Whether giving a shot or performing a head to toe assessment,they always seem to know how to keep a kid's mind off of it.Any examples of this ultimate distraction?
Honestly, I think children (and pets) really pick up on OUR emotions. If we go in uncomfortable with a skill or procedure or are mad at our charge nurse/ spouse, the cold coffee in the cafeteria, and the child (or worse, parent and child) picks up on it then it so hard to put anyone at ease.
Here are some examples that I have tried.
I worked in a clinic and gave immunizations. I bought cute bandages and allowed the child to pick out one or two. I told them that it would hurt but it would be fast. (I even made ice packs with ice cubes in disposable baggies) . I explained everything and gave them permission to scream and cry. I would count loud and scream mildly quietly with them. I was quick (had it down about the first billion) and then it was over. No shame, no lying, no threatening. My director said that when I did IZ clinic there seemed to be less crying/screaming.
I use the dang iPad or even phone for mild procedures (this is when they were new).
Ask a child life specialist for help if you can!
Head to Toe Assessments...least invasive stuff last (that means BP or 'down there" area last ). Everything is playful. A sticker on a tongue depressor for visual fields/tracking . Silly words for hearing (stand behind them and whisper jokes, whatever is age appropriate). Jokes for opening mouth ("how would you stick your tongue out at the doctor.. " bam, mucous membranes color and hydration, tonsils done) . Lungs, heart, and belly ("Do I hear a dinosaur in there? Or, DUDE what DID you eat for lunch,etc") I left them check me (after cleaning ear parts of stethoscope).
It has to be fun and quick. You have to put the parents at ease too.
Be honest with them.
I let the kid tell me what to do...how shall we start this? Offer choices "What flavor juice for the meds."
I listen when they are having a bad day. Sometimes kids with chronic conditions are OVER it. They are sick of being sick and in the hospital.
Of course there are times that nothing would work and we would have to play good nurse and mean nurse ( the holder) and get through it.
best of luck,
made you look,
Thank you for these wonderful examples.I have been straying off the path of nursing specialty I have wanted.This comment makes me believe in myself more.I think that other specialties would be fun,but I feel as though I must listen to what my heart has decided.Thanks again!