The kind of health care that should be given to children and adults are in question by many health care professionals. It is asserted that children are not just small adults. Their physical maturity, perception and communication, and effects of certain treatments and medications are different from adults. Their growth and development is still on-going in all aspects.
Children require pediatric patient care from specialty-trained doctors and nurses in children’s hospitals.
Specialized training on children’s health are received by doctors, nurses and other health care providers. Pediatricians take specialized education and training which lasts up to six years. Pediatric specialists enter additional fellowships that would last up to three years. On top of basic nursing care, nurses take extra courses for specialization in children’s medical care. They may also choose to become neonatal nurses who provide expert care and treatment to newborns with medical complications and are premature.
Physical growth for adults reach a point development stops. Children, meanwhile, continue to go through physical changes as they age; this is considered by physicians when giving treatment. They take into account how certain treatments affect the growth of a child. They need to see to it that growth and development is not disrupted or adversely affected in any way.
The body of a child is different to an adult; one example is the size of the heart. An adult’s heart may be size of his or her fist while a child’s heart can be only as big as a walnut. When performing medical procedures, heart surgeons are required to utilize different instruments and equipment that would adequately and safely handle the child’s body. Health care professionals also face different conditions and treatments with children.
Some illnesses can be fatal to children while not making much of an impact to adults. One good example is the Respiratory Syncitial Virus which is nothing more than a common cold to adults but a very dangerous and sometimes deadly disease if contracted by children. There are also many medical conditions that can only be contracted by kids.
Instruments and equipment are designed for children’s use which means they are often smaller in size like IV lines, needles and respirators.
Medical professionals who handle children must have good communication and understanding of kids’ behaviour. This is important in getting the kids’ trust and cooperation. It is also encouraged for the family to be involved in the treatment and recovery process of children.
Children’s hospitals are constructed and operated to be child-friendly where the patients can feel comfortable and safe. The use of themed colors and decor and toys aid Child Life Specialists in reducing anxiety of children.