Children present to the health services with a variety of health needs. The Department of Health (DH) National Service Framework (2004) in the United Kingdom (UK) identifies that children with health needs should receive good quality care. Furthermore this care needs to be provided by staff that have adequate preparation to work with children and families (DH, 2004). In order to provide such care, the nursing student needs to develop and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to gain an understanding and appreciation of the common needs of both family and child on hospitalization. This chapter aims to equip you with the knowledge and background skills to enable you to provide this quality care. After reading this chapter you should be able to: ● Identify and outline the essential skills that are required during the child’s admission to hospital. ● Understand the essential clinical observations that are performed upon the child’s admission to hospital. ● Develop a further understanding of the basic elements of admission and discharge planning, including the nursing process and care planning. ● Understand the importance of good record keeping during care. ● Identify the means of transmission of infection and the specific precautions and practices that the nursing student can utilize to prevent such transmission. ● Understand the principles of distraction therapy. ● Understand the situations in which restraint may be required. ● Comprehend the principles of last offices and the nurse’s role in providing bereavement care. This chapter assists with your understanding of your nursing care by helping you to understand the skills that can be used during the child’s admission to hospital. These skills develop with experience and education and enable you to develop a caring, family centred approach that makes the transition from home to hospital and vice versa a smooth one for both family and child. Crucially, the assessment process, in the initial phase, helps to set the scene in your relationship with both child and family and communication skills are vital. At the same time essential physical observations of the child are carried out and documented to support your overall assessment and these will be outlined in this chapter.
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