Being close to a family member and being able to participate in fun activities help reduce anxiety and pain related to the disease. If long and demanding treatments are required, the possibility of studying with the help of a teacher is guaranteed
The child in the hospital must have at least one next to him at all times parent (or another reference figure), even in intensive care services. And the hospital must facilitate and support (with the help of psychologists) the stay of the family member. a right up to the age of 18 to be looked after by a mother or father recalls Cecilia Berni, of the Public Relations Office of the Buzzi Children’s Hospital in Milan. If no family member can stay with the patient, a volunteer of the Obm association (created to support hospital staff, ed) takes care of him, day and night. When, for reasons of living distance and demanding hospitalizations or long periods of day hospital alternating with outpatient checks, the entire family unit needs to move to the place of care, the reception office of the hospital, usually identified with the Urp (Public relations office), offers help in finding suitable accommodation, near the structure, free or at low cost, especially for those with economic difficulties.
The context has an important effect on the little patient. Colored walls and furniture, spaces reserved for game, library, clown, creative workshops, music therapy, bedtime stories, encounters with animals, relaxation techniques and all other entertainment activities are not accessories but, on the contrary, contribute to well-being. The child is more dependent on the family environment than the adult. The separation from the parents and the admission to the hospital determine a state of confusion such that a sense of helplessness can develop in a situation that is often not able to understand, foresee and control. His behavior can demonstrate submission, renunciation, frustration, anger, resentment, or aggression, depending on the type of personality and culture of origin. And the moods he can experience can be of uncertainty, restlessness, panic, fear, anxiety, anguish, frustration and a sense of diversity compared to non-sick peers explains Laura Vagnoli, psychologist at the Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence. The support activities for the treatment are aimed at the humanization of the hospitalization with a view to a personalized, therefore more effective, therapeutic path. The goal is to reduce anxiety and improve the ability to take care of oneself, as well as facilitate the conduct of medical procedures. Studies conducted on patients at the Meyer Hospital show that the presence of a dog, of a clown or a musician during a blood draw or an MRI, as well as the relaxation technique of guided imagery before general anesthesia for surgery, lower stress and fear levels and the need for sedation. The investigations on hospital clowns specifies Vagnoli who accompanied the children to the operating room and stayed with them until they fell asleep showed a decrease in anxiety of more than 50% compared to those who were close to their parent and also to those who he had taken an anxiolytic drug.
In the event of long hospital stays it is necessary to guarantee the child the right toinstruction, a problem that also arises for pupils undergoing home and day-hospital therapies and for school-age guests in hospices. The hospital school and home education service was established in 1986 (thanks to the circular 345 of the Ministry of Education). Today there are 18 regional polo schools, with 211 hospital sections, which provide over 900 teachers (for infancy, primary and secondary) at the bedside of long-term patients or directly at their home. The Gaslini Institute of Genoa was one of the pioneers of the school-hospital alliance. We have about fifty teachers, says the principal Alessandra Lera. The activities for children take place in the morning, in the afternoon individual lessons are organized for elementary school students, while for middle and high school students they are flexible throughout the day, compatibly with the state of health. There is a great deal of adherence on the part of children, because they seek the normality interrupted by the disease. In the hospital there is also the possibility to carry out the exams of State and the Invalsi tests. If the whole family moves to another city for therapy, the patient’s siblings can also take advantage of the educational service, adds Lera.
Who requests the service
Who activates the service? In the case of the hospitalized child, the hospital teacher who proposes and intercepts his availability. If, on the other hand, the patient at home is the responsibility of the family to request the didactic intervention, by presenting a medical certificate to the home institution confirming the inability to attend school for at least 30 days, even if not continuously. The school will then develop a tailor-made school plan, explains the principal. For operations longer than 15 days, the hospital teacher gets in touch with the patient’s school representative and, after discharge, facilitates his return to class. Info on scuolainospedale.miur.gov.it.
Relationship with doctors
The little inpatient also has the right to be informed, in an appropriate way, on one’s own situation and in this the relationship between doctor and child plays a fundamental role. The patient must always be told the truth, with a language suited to his age, using expedients, such as a game that he is fond of, the champion of the heart, a fable, a drawing, the favorite superhero, in which he can identify with. Focusing on his resources and giving hope the first rule says Andrea Campana, head of the multi-specialist pediatrics at the Bambino Ges hospital in Palidoro (Fiumicino). The patient is already involved from the age of two. We look for his gaze as soon as we enter the room, so that he feels the protagonist of his story of him, he relies on the staff without feeling teased and without having to suffer the care he adds like a nightmare. First, it is necessary to reassure the family: The youngest patients experience emotions through the eyes of their parents and their state of mind, which is why their collaboration is fundamental, the doctor points out. The Adolescent Council has even been set up for the Child Jesus of Rome, to give suggestions on how to make the hospital stay more bearable. We also invite the patient to express wishes and feelings through letters and drawings adds Campana.
January 28, 2022 (change January 28, 2022 | 17:59)
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