THOUGHTFUL MEDICINE: A SPECIAL APPROACH TO LITTLE PATIENTS
The “Thoughtful Medicine” award was established at the initiative of the Management Board of the Hadassah University Hospital. As part of this event, current and former patients of the hospital are invited to vote for the employees, who, in their opinion, care for patients with all their hearts. You can vote at special voting precincts placed in both campuses of the clinic, or on the Internet.
As well as representatives of many other departments of the clinic, the staff of the Pediatrics Department was also nominated for this award. Tens of thousands of children, from newborns to teenagers and older visit the department every year. After three years of dealing with the pandemic, the department is slowly returning to normal life, with an atmosphere of renewal.
Speak the child’s language
Dr. Rebecca Brooks
Dr. Brooks explains that the profession of a pediatrician is more difficult than it might seem from the outside.
“Children are the sweetest patients, but it is important to remember that for a pediatrician, the patient is not only the child himself, but also his family. Parents are an integral part of the treatment. The language of communication is also very important. You need to know how to talk to a child. After all, communicating with a one-month-old baby is very different from communicating with a one-year-old, the same applies to a 10-year-old. The pediatrician must adjust to the language of the child, and it does not necessarily consist of words, but often includes gaze, body movements. We always pay attention to it. Part of our job is to calm the child. When a child is afraid, it is most often associated with an unpleasant experience that he had in the past. Children are very honest, very sincere, they don’t pretend. You see it when a child feels bad, and when a child feels good, you see it too. This sincerity makes our work very pleasant and helps to be dedicated to it, to do everything to help a sick child,” explains Dr. Brooks.
Without pain and white coats
The desire to make hospital stay more enjoyable has led the Pediatrics Department to develop a special approach.
“Our doctors don’t wear white coats, because they symbolize something very official and can scare away children. The staff also tries to speak with children on an equal footing. In addition, we do our best so that the child does not feel pain. For example, there are ointments that numb the skin, which we apply about an hour or an hour and a half before a blood test, if it is not urgent, so that the child is not afraid and does not feel pain. The same applies to other simple procedures such as infusion. It is also very important for us to involve parents in the process. Parents are our partners in caring for their children,” says Dr. Brooks.
Before the surgery
A surgery is a difficult event even for an adult patient, and even more so for a small child.
Dr. Ido Vilchik
School for young patients
The Hadassah clinic creatively solved the problem of the long absence of hospitalized children from school or kindergarten. There is an excellent school here, run by the Ministry of Education, which has many professional staff who help children learn the school curriculum. In addition, with the help of technical means, children can communicate with classmates. This school also has special programs that are related to various situations that children may encounter during hospitalization. For example, they are given professional advice on swallowing medicines or preparing for a blood test, they are told what an infection is, and they answer questions about daily life in the ward.