After a child’s injury, both the child and the family may experience traumatic stress reactions that can interfere with the recovery of the child. Pediatric trauma nurses have an important role to play in helping the family and the child to recover physically and emotionally. A recent study led by researchers from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hershey Medical Center surveyed more than 200 nurses in pediatric trauma centers. The researchers found that 90 % of nurses understand post traumatic stress disorder and recognize the importance of responding to the psychological needs of the child and the family. Additionally, 75% to 80% of the nurses are helping the child and the family to cope with pain and anxiety during procedures and encourage parents to turn to family and friends for support. However most nurses do not provide a direct assessment of the child or the parents distress and do not provide specific instructions on how to cope with the trauma.
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