Chapter 3: The visit
When children first arrive
children first arrive and before entering the patient’s room, if time permits, give
them a tour, including the nursing station, bathrooms, kitchen, and family
room. Point out and explain different signs (e.g., isolation precautions). Preparing the child can help them feel
comfortable during their visit and minimize the initial shock and possible
negative reactions when they first see their loved one.
“While we are walking, do you notice anything you have questions about”?
Entering the patient’s room
Before entering the room, do a final check-in to see if the child or youth have additional questions or worries. Encourage parents to create ways for the child to signal that they need a break (e.g., a prearranged signal such as an ear tug can). The usual guidelines are to have the child accompanied by someone they trust and feel safe with.
How children may react
Children may have a wide range of reactions. Click on the arrows to view some of these.
Sad or fearful
Quiet or withdrawn
Clingy or anxious
Giddy or energetic
All of these are natural reactions.