Being hospitalized can be quite stressful, and this is especially true for infants and children. In many cases, young patients do not understand what is going on with them and why they cannot go home. This often results in such emotions as fear, anxiety and depression. Fortunately, there are some things you can do as a CNA to help calm young patients, and some of the best tips are described below.
Encourage Family Involvement
One of the best things you can do to calm your young patients is to encourage family involvement. In most cases, children feel much safer and at ease with their parents, siblings or other family members. With that said, encourage parents and family members to visit hospitalized children often and to be actively involved in their care.
Some medical facilities even allow parents to stay with their children around the clock! If the facility where you work allows this, be sure to let your young patients' parents know. It can also help if you let your patients' parents know where they can find such things as playrooms, snack machines, the facility's gift shop and local restaurants.
Create Special Play Time
If parents or other family members are not available to calm your young patients' anxiety, you can accomplish it yourself by creating special play time. This can include a variety of fun activities depending on the age of your patients. However, some activities that are most effective in calming young patients are as follows:
- Reading Favorite Books to Them
- Coloring in Coloring Books or on Coloring Pages
- Playing Age-Appropriate Games
- Watching Age-Appropriate Videos
- Listening to Children's Music and Singing Along
- Playing or Walking Outdoors (if possible)
- Taking Them to the Facility's Playroom
- Rocking Them and Singing to Them
Listen to and Talk with Patients
If your young patients are old enough to talk with you, another thing you can do to help calm them is to listen to their concerns. Ask them what they are scared of most, and do your best to calm their fears. But if you use this tip, make sure that you never tell them that something will not hurt.
Some medical procedures do hurt. As such, rather than telling them that the procedure will not hurt, tell them that the procedure will help them get better so that they can go home. Additionally, if you are talking to a fatally ill patient, it is best for you to find out about the family's religious affiliations before talking about God and Heaven.
Encourage Expression Through Writing or Drawing
Finally, another thing you can do to calm young patients as a CNA is encourage expression through writing or drawing. Of course, these activities are age-dependent. However, many children who cannot write are able to draw to some degree. Your patients' "works of art" do not have to be perfect. The goal is simply to help relieve their anxiety or fears.
Some things you can do to calm young patients as a CNA include encouraging family involvement, creating special play time and listening to your patients.