Developing understanding and awareness of children's distress, distraction techniques and holding


Purpose:This project aimed to evaluate the influence of an education session on ambulance clinicians' understanding and awareness of children's distress, distraction techniques and holding in the pre-hospital setting.Methods:An inter-professional education session that focused on raising awareness of children's distress, the use of distraction techniques and clinical holding during pre-hospital care was provided. A mixed methods approach was then used to evaluate both existing and newly acquired knowledge and opinion through the use of questionnaires (n=26) and focus group discussion (n=20).Results:Despite literature suggesting that ambulance clinicians may not use distraction techniques during pre-hospital care, data gained from this project indicates that use of distraction techniques is widespread (92%, n=24) and has been adapted to fit within pre-hospital care. The inter-professional education event was reported as being of value for ambulance clinicians.Conclusions:Ambulance clinicians endeavour to provide a positive experience for children undergoing procedures, despite reported limitations in education, exposure and equipment. By using a collaborative and consultative education event, it is possible to facilitate ambulance clinicians to challenge their practice and improve their reported knowledge of dealing with children during procedures in the pre-hospital setting. Additional work needs to be undertaken to further explore and improve pre-hospital practice in relation to children's distress and clinical procedures.

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