Homepage " News " Humanising medicine in paediatrics: Supporting children and their families

Humanising medicine in paediatrics: Supporting children and their families

3 November 2023

Paediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the health and treatment of children. With advances in science and technology, paediatric medicine is also developing, but it is not only science and technology that matter. Increasingly, attention is being paid to the humanisation aspect of paediatric medicine, i.e. the approach of doctors and medical staff towards young patients and their families. Why is this important and what benefits does it bring?

The humanisation of medicine in Paediatrics is important

The humanisation of medicine is an approach to healthcare that puts the patient and his or her welfare first. In the case of paediatrics, the field of medicine that deals with the care of children, humanisation takes on particular significance. This approach assumes that every child deserves empathetic medical care that is tailored to their age and needs.

Humanising medicine in paediatrics is not just a question of medical staff behaving nicely towards children. It is a whole set of practices that aim to make visits to the doctor less stressful and more comfortable for both young patients and their parents.

Understanding that children are not just patients, but little people with their own feelings and needs, is key to humanising paediatric medicine. Children can feel fear, anxiety and pain, and it is important for medical staff to be able to recognise this and respond accordingly.

Emotional support for parents also plays an important role. Parents often feel frightened when their child is ill. Medical staff should be able to support them emotionally and give them relevant information about their child's condition.

Humanising paediatric medicine also means creating welcoming environments in hospitals and clinics. Colourful and friendly rooms, as well as specially adapted rooms for children, can make a visit to the doctor less frightening and more enjoyable for the youngest patients.

The individualised approach to each child is a key principle of the humanisation of medicine in paediatrics. Every child is different, with their own needs and concerns. Doctors and medical staff should be able to tailor care to these needs, providing comprehensive and empathetic care.

Communication with children

One of the key aspects of humanising medicine in paediatrics is the ability to communicate with children. Doctors and medical staff should be able to explain medical procedures and diagnoses in an understandable way that is adapted to the child's age and developmental level. This not only helps the child's understanding of the situation, but also helps the child to feel confident and accepted when visiting the doctor.

Children often have many questions and concerns about their visits to the doctor. Therefore, doctors need to be able to answer these questions appropriately, not downplay concerns and provide emotional support. A good doctor is able to create an atmosphere of trust in which the child feels at ease and can share their concerns.

Adapting communication to the child's age is a key element. Children of different ages understand the world differently, so the doctor needs to use simple and understandable language. Examples and analogies can help improve understanding of difficult medical concepts.

It is also important to listen to children. Sometimes the most important information can come from talking to the child themselves, not just their parents. This allows the doctor to get a more complete picture of the child's condition.

Communication with children is not only about conveying information, but also about building positive relationships. Children who feel understood and listened to in the doctor's surgery often trust their doctor more and are more likely to follow medical advice.

Psychological support

Children often experience stress and anxiety related to visits to the doctor, especially if they involve procedures or hospitalisation. As part of the humanisation of medicine in paediatrics, a key aspect is to provide psychological support to both the child and their parents. This means that medical staff are sensitive to patients' emotions and make an effort to make the visit to the medical facility as stress-free as possible.

Psychological support can take various forms. Firstly, there is the option of talking to a psychologist. Psychologists who specialise in working with children are able to help toddlers cope with the stress and anxiety associated with treatment. At the same time, parents may also need psychological support, so psychologists can provide counselling for them as well, helping them to understand and cope with the emotions associated with their child's illness.In addition, the humanisation of medicine in paediatrics can include the possibility of contact with organisations that support children and families. They work to improve the quality of life of patients and their relatives by offering material, informational and emotional support. By working with such organisations, families can feel better understood and supported during difficult times.It is also worth noting the creation of welcoming spaces in medical facilities. Colourful and child-friendly interiors, mascots and specially designed rooms can significantly reduce a child's stress and anxiety. This supports the treatment process and makes a visit to the doctor less traumatic.Psychological support is an integral part of the humanisation of medicine in paediatrics. Children and their parents should feel cared for, understood and supported during every medical visit. This approach not only contributes to improved treatment outcomes, but also builds trust between patients and medical staff.