Study addresses trauma-informed care in nursing

January 14, 2015

A recent study from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing reveals pediatric trauma nurses are knowledgeable about practicing trauma-informed care, but points to the need for additional nurse training to help families cope after a child’s injury.

When an injury occurs, both the child and other family members may experience traumatic stress reactions interfering with a full recovery. Pediatric nurses play a key role in preventing injury-related post-traumatic stress by providing trauma-informed care, which includes recognizing pre-existing trauma, addressing acute traumatic stress reactions associated with the traumatic event, minimizing potentially traumatic aspects of treatment and identifying children who need additional monitoring or referrals for more help.

Penn State Hershey’s Sue Rzucidlo, registered nurse, is an article author.

Researchers surveyed 232 nurses across five level I and level II pediatric trauma centers about their knowledge, opinions and current practices in addressing psychological recovery in their injured patients. More than 90 percent of the nurses surveyed recognize the importance of attending to psychosocial needs as part of trauma nursing care, and 75 to 80 percent report that they encourage parents to turn to family and friends for support and help parents manage a child’s pain and anxiety during procedures. However, far fewer nurses surveyed reported directly assessing a child or parent’s distress or providing specific instruction in how to cope with difficult or painful experiences.

The results of this survey suggest that efforts to improve trauma-informed pediatric nursing care should highlight specific skills related to helping patients and their parents manage emotional responses to difficult medical experiences.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1Ac8AKU.

Last Updated January 15, 2015