You work every day to provide the best care for children. But imagine being on the other side and receiving this phone call that you never want to get. Hear those words you never want to hear: Your child has had a terrible accident. You are told that your child has been transported to the emergency room. All you want to do is hurry, so you can be close to your child while the medical teams are working to treat the injuries, and possibly save your child's life.
Although this is a natural parental reaction, not all hospitals allow parents to stay in the room with their child during trauma care. But new research on child health in Dallas; National Child Health System in Washington, D.C .; and the Philadelphia Children's Hospital highlights a hospital policy that allows it, bringing benefits to patients, families and medical teams.
The study revealed that:
94 percent of families with their child during trauma care said they provide emotional support to their child
92 percent reported giving information about their child to the medical team
81% remember having an interactive relationship with the trauma team, asking questions about their child's care
"It's my job"
In general, the results show that parents felt that attendance was an opportunity to fulfill their role as advocate and advocate for their child.
"Families have the right to be present with their child during trauma care," says Lori Vinson, Senior Director of Trauma Services, Emergency Services, EMS, PESN, Emergency Management and Disaster Management. injury prevention.
"They feel they have a better understanding of their child's prognosis by looking at and observing it," says Vinson. "They feel less anxious to be in the room than to be somewhere else, where they are not aware of what's going on, and they feel like supporting their child simply by being physically present.
Benefits for health care teams
Vinson says the families in the room are also helping medical teams better explain what's going on because the family has witnessed the condition and care of the child. It can also help teams better prepare and support families while their child is undergoing trauma care, she says.
Good policy but not widely accepted
While family-centered care is a pillar of children's hospitals nationwide, the practice of family presence during pediatric trauma care is still lagging behind areas of care for diagnosed children. This is because, says Vinson, of the nature of the trauma itself.
"With trauma, most of these children have never been sick, and they usually do not have any long-term health problems, so their families may never have been in the ER," he says. she. "And with trauma, there is blood, there are visible injuries, there may be a distortion of the appearance of a child, these things are not there in medical conditions as in trauma."
Building on previous research
In 2006, Vinson co-authored a study in the Journal of Emergency Nursing that assessed the family's presence during resuscitation and other trauma procedures, finding that:
In 100% of cases where the family was present, patient care was uninterrupted
Parents believed that their presence helped their child and said that it alleviated their fears
92% of nurses and 78% of physicians supported the presence of the family
Daily practice for children's health
The Emergency Department of Child Health in Dallas has a policy that allows for family presence during pediatric trauma care, and Vinson and the team there would not have it otherwise.
"We really want to put the family at the center of everything we do, so to put families in the center, we really need to get them involved from the start," she says. "We do not think about it anymore, it's just what we do."