Communicating with Pediatric Patients and Their Families Essay

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In any healthcare setting the most important person is the patient, and in the case of pediatric patients their parents as well. If a healthcare provider is unable to communicate adequately the patients may be left feeling frustrated and angry. According to Levetown (2008) there are three important elements in building the relationship between a physician, parent, and child. These consist of informativeness or the quality of health information provided, interpersonal sensitivity or the ability for a physician to show interest in the parents’ and childs emotions and concerns, and partnership building (Levetown 2008). These basics can be applied to all health professionals, not just the physician themselves. Beginning with informative…show more content…
A skill that every healthcare worker should develop is the ability to read a person’s body language to be able to differentiate between the family that wants full disclosure and the family that may need some time to cope before all facts are revealed. There have also been questions regarding whether a child should be kept informed about their health status. Factors including age of the child, cognitive ability, and again personal preference of both the child and the parents should be considered. According to Levetown (2008) there is a “moral and ethical obligation” to keep children informed of their illness or condition. It is quite obvious that a young child may be incapable of understanding but as soon as they come of age they should be wholly involved in their healthcare. Levetown (2008) believes “Pediatric health care quality will improve if the child is recognized to have his or her own individual cognitive and emotional needs, is taken seriously, and is considered to be intelligent, capable, and cooperative” (p. e1445). However, parents reserve the right to choose how information is provided to their child. Some children even wish to be uninvolved in their own health treatment plan and care. The second element as mentioned above as part of Levetowns three relationship building blocks is interpersonal sensitivity. Evidence shows that building rapport with a child and their family rather than just presenting the facts increases the confidence the
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