Post # 1
I’m a med student and am starting my pediatrics block next week (yay!). The problem is, I have ZERO experience with kids, as in I’m an only child and the youngest cousin in both of my families. My very limited is with some of my friend’s children and I really enjoy playing with them and they seem to have fun, but this is different!
I was a sickly child but loved all of my doctors, knowing how impressionable young children are I would hate to hurt them or make the experience unpleasant for them (more than it is).
Also, I distinctly remember hating when they told me it wouldn’t hurt, it would just be pressure (bull shit btw!), I always felt lied to, if the kids ask, should I tell them the truth or go with pressure?
Do any bees have any tips they could share with me about how to make them laugh or distract them some? I am a very smiley, friendly person and do not care at all about making a fool out of myself if that helps 🙂 I can also take small toys and the such with me if necessary. I will be working mostly with kids between the age of 2-9.
Post # 3
I can only tell you what I remember from visiting my doctor as a young child. These were just yearly check-ups but maybe there’s something you can use.
When she needed to look in my ears she would tell me she was checking for elephants but she never found any.
I would always get a sticker at the end of the appointment. They were big stickers, and I got to choose.
There were toys in the room, books, etc. But I don’t remember playing with them. My mom use to play I-Spy with me while we waiting. That might be a good game to distract them with.
Post # 4
When I was a kid, my pediatrician would always draw a picture on my hand at the end of the appointment as my reward for being good. But she had a scratchy pen and I always feared the drawing on my hand more than the shot, because it hurt for an extended time rather than just for a second. It was like getting a tattoo. So my advice is to NOT do that, haha!
But I second the whole stickers thing. I would have straight-up murdered someone for a cool sticker when I was little. My sticker book was my most prized possession!!
Post # 5
I draw blood from kids. I am honest if they as about whether or not it will hurt. I tell them if they hold really still, it should just be a pinch. If they move, it hurts more. For younger kids we sometimes sing songs. I let them sit on mom’s lap, and I laugh about how we call it “snuggling” and not “restraining” haha.
Older kids I feel like should get a say. I ask them which arm they prefer, and I let them know I can answer questions if they have any.
It’s mostly about reading your kid. If I see a terrified teenager I can tease out pretty quickly whether they are stalling and being a brat or if they are legitimately experiencing some anxiety. <—that comes from several years of experience though.
Just go with your gut, talk TO the child, not about the child (if they are old enough to be active participants in their health care) and don’t lie to them.
Post # 6
@minipenguin: All kids aren’t the same. Start with asking them a few questions to get a sense of what kind of kid they are. Do they like to sing? Draw? Paint? I was also happy when the Doctor got to know me even if it was jus for 2 minutes. They quickly learned that I didn’t like needles, and used a calmer voice when working with me.
Post # 7
My pediatrician had a drawing up at the ceiling and there was a ladybird hidden in it. Whenever she had to draw blood, she asked me to search for the ladybird. That way, kids are distracted and are less anxiously awaiting the needle pinching.
Post # 8
@Aprilsfool: are you sure there was really a bird?
Post # 9
My son’s pediatrician (who was also my pediatrician), always lets my son touch whatever instrument she is going to stick in his ear/throat/whatever. That really helps him (he’s only one, so making him laugh is tricky, haha). For babies, quick peek-a-boos or big smiles and silly voices go a long way. *ETA: I just saw mostly kids 2-9. I’d say this advice still stands up to age 4-ish.
In general, just a few quick seconds of establishing rapport before jumping in helps kids of all ages. Asking them about their favorite thing at school, or their best Christmas present, and listening and responding to their answer can really help them relax (I work with kiddos in mental health, and our intake meetings can be pretty intimidating for them.)
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
@keesl: She said ladybird.. like a ladybug. It wasn’t real, it was part of the drawing aha.
I totally agree with the advice about stickers (my mom’s a kindergarten teacher and they do ANYTHING for stickers) and talking to kids and not about them (: Also, a good way to distract them and relax them is to ask them about a topic that you know that they can talk a lot about (open questions not closed questions). I like the idea that a PP said about having kids touch the instruments before you use them. I think it would make it less intimidating.
Post # 12
My brother was in the hospital for about six weeks when we were kids. He had a TON of tests done and had heart surgery.
We both liked when the Dr. let us use the stethoscope to hear our own hearts, or each others. She let him check her ears out with her instrument and take her temp. He hated the Dr. that talked like some grownup on a kids show, like over the top giggly and dramatic.
Recently my 3 year old nephew was in a children’s hospital, the Dr. that made his day (he was in about 3weeks) was the one that brought him matchbox cars and found out he liked pirates. So she brought him pieces of gold (chocolate coins) when he needed his blood taken. Good Luck!
Post # 13
@keesl: lol…well, it was some sort of mural paint (lots of flowers and grass and greenery)- and yeah, there was a ladybird to be found 😀