Building trust is fundamental for a pediatric nurse to form relationships with their young patients. However, this trust can be difficult to maintain because as a medical professional, you need to be involved in some of the more difficult and painful procedures that the children have to endure. The following communication tactics can help you break through that barrier and form a mutually beneficial bond with your young patients.
How to Strengthen Trust With Pediatric Patients
1. Get to Know Them
As a pediatric nurse, always begin by greeting your patient before you say hello to their parents. This makes them feel important and gives you a solid foundation for building a relationship. Ask them about themselves and take some time to familiarize yourself with what they enjoy. You should also kneel down to speak to them or have a parent hold them on their lap to avoid standing over them while you talk.
2. Create a Comfortable Environment
Kids will feel safer if the exam room—even if it’s in their own home—looks less like a medical clinic and more like a fun space to play. Fill the room with toys, books, and crayons, which can also serve as distractions to keep them calm.
You can also make them feel more comfortable by asking them to help get things ready for the assessment and allowing them to participate in small ways rather than just letting things happen to them.
3. Take Your Time
Rather than just jumping into tests and procedures without much warning, try explaining every part of the process to the child first. Slow the procedure down and make the exam interactive by allowing them to listen to your stethoscope or hold a bandage. If the patient is having a hard time, take a few minutes to play with them or color a picture together to build a sense of trust.
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