What can we do to help the Siblings of Children in the Hospital?
Presented in National Medical Students Paediatric Conference (NMSPC) 2013, Brighton, UK
Katherine Lattey
Brighton and Sussex Medical School, UK
Having an ill sibling is potentially one of the most stressful events for a well child to go through during their entire childhood. How the sibling copes can affect how the ill child or their parents manage the situation. It has already been documented that information sessions and support groups can benefit the siblings, facilitating them to develop a more positive outlook but this can not be used on a day-to-day basis. Time on the wards is limited however siblings are often overlooked which could potentially be detrimental to the family in the short and long term. A potential method of proposed good practice detailing simple steps that any health care professional could take on the wards to improve the experience for a child whose sibling has been hospitalised is presented. Methods outlined include simple communication advice for a health care professional themselves, suggestions for the parents that could be given and potential ideas for wider hospital schemes. In the traumatic event of a child being hospitalised it is understandable why siblings can sometimes be forgotten however as health care professionals we have a duty to reduce the negative impact that passing through the hospital can have on any child, whether they are in the bed or standing by the side of it.
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