Moderator’s Note: This post was authored by Christie Alminde, RN, CPN, who served as an outreach coordinator for the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress. Prior to CPTS, she was a Surgical/Trauma Nurse at CHOP. As of July 2016, Ms. Alminde has left CIRP@CHOP to pursue her career elsewhere.
When we know better, we do better. We never wore seat belts, never had car seats, and never wore bike helmets while growing up. Now, my family ALWAYS wears seat belts and bike helmets and are optimally restrained while riding in cars.
In the same vein, we can apply this to our professional lives as nurses. While not available when I was in Nursing School, nurses can now use evidence-based trauma-informed care to optimize patient experience and improve health outcomes. Free online courses for CE credit developed by the Center for Pediatric Stress at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) are now available at HealthCareToolBox.org. Having this training has allowed me to improve how I deliver clinical care to my pediatric patients and their families, some of whom are in desperate situations. It also has helped me cope better with my own secondary stress from working with traumatized patients.
Today, I practice with a trauma-informed approach, every patient, every time. Providing trauma-informed care means taking emotional and psychological aspects of children’s experiences into account when you interact with patients and families. It also means trying to reduce the potentially traumatic aspects of medical and nursing care.
CIRP@CHOP research has shown that nurses welcome the idea of education related to trauma-informed care. To reach the goal of education and implementing optimal patient care, nurses can now take FREE online courses about the impact of Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress (PMTS), as well as the three-course D-E-F series that gives nurses the tools necessary to put their skills together in a systematic way to optimize patient care.
In time, trauma-informed care may become standard of care in pediatric clinical settings.
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