What Prepared Parents Bring to the ED
Tracey Sutherland, cPNP
Trauma Nurse Practitioner
Trauma Center, Boston Children’s Hospital
As a parent, an unexpected trip to the Emergency Department can be extremely stressful, unpredictable and even scary, but, being prepared can help keep your focus where it needs to be, on your child. No matter the nature of the emergency, being under acute stress can make simple tasks much more challenging.
So how can you prepare for the unexpected? Here are some items that you can prepare in advance, and have on-file, either a printed copy kept in your bag or electronically on your phone, to make your visit easier. Many of these items can be found on the “camp” form provided by your primary care provider.
Besides the information regarding care of your child, having a few of your child’s favorite and familiar items will help calm them during an uncertain visit. A favorite toy or lovey will help make treatment less frightening. Keeping a calm and even voice and explaining unfamiliar equipment and procedures will help reassure your child and help them feel safe amid the chaos that can sometimes occur in the middle of an emergency.
Having information on hand and a few familiar belongings from home will help make a stressful Emergency Department visit, a little more manageable.