Paediatric Wards and Children’s Emergency Departments: Wrong Place or Right Place for Seeing Distressed Young People?
With pressure on the limited number of inpatient places available in the UK, and timely access to community CAMHS being a problem increasing numbers of children and young people are attending Emergency Departments with self-harm or other symptoms of distress. Many of them need admitting to paediatric wards whilst they wait for a specialist assessment, or for a bed to become available in a CAMHS unit. Gemma Robbins and Stephanie Mansfield look at the skills needed by children’s nurses to care for this group of distressed patients in the midst of a busy environment. They look at how to mitigate some of the difficulties of caring for distressed young people in a setting whose primary function is to care for those who are physically unwell. Children’s nurses already have great skills in communication, but may lack confidence in their ability to be helpful to children and young people whose distress is emotionally based. Small changes to an environment which is already set up to be child friendly can also make a big difference in caring for this group.
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