Children should never be considered as merely young adults according to health experts. The health care they should receive should be appropriate to their physical maturity, perception and communication, and the possible effects of certain treatments and long term care. Children continue to grow and they have not reached their full physical potential; this also means that their immune system is weaker compared to adults and they are much more vulnerable to diseases.
They require special patient care from pediatric specialty-trained doctors and nurses in children’s hospitals.
Doctors, nurses and other health care providers must receive specialized training in order to become qualified to provide care to children. Pediatricians usually take six years to become fully competent in pediatrics and children’s medicine. Registered Nurses join internship programs to receive the necessary education and training; this could last from a few months to a year. They may also choose to specialize in neonatal nursing which focuses on providing health care to premature babies and neonates (newborns up to 30 days) with medical complications.
Children are still growing and physicians must take this into account when recommending or performing surgeries and prescribing medicines. It is important that these won’t affect the normal growth of the child.
The structure and functions of the body of a child is different to an adult. They are relatively smaller; therefore, tools and equipments used should be appropriate for children’s use. One is example is the heart’s size, since children’s hearts are smaller, surgeons take more care on performing operations and use smaller, more delicate tools.
There are several illnesses that only affect children. There are also diseases that can be fatal to them but do not quite as much affect adults. One example is the Respiratory Syncitial Virus which can be life threatening to kids but would seem like a common cold to adults.
IV lines, needles, and respirators used in children’s hospitals are typically smaller versions of those used for adult patient care to suit the needs of the younger patients.
It is important that medical professionals have good communication and perception skills to better provide care to children. It is also encouraged for parents and families to take part in the treatment and recovery process. This way the children will feel more secure and comfortable.
Children’s hospitals are built and managed to child-friendly institutions to make the patients feel safe and at home. The environment is maintained to be colourful with Child Specialists around to aid and provide support to patients, parents and other health care providers.