Managing your first paediatric situation as a foundation doctor can be challenging not just medically, but also emotionally. Here are some psychological strategies that can help you manage the situation effectively:
Manage your emotions:
It’s natural to feel anxious or overwhelmed when managing your first paediatric situation. However, it’s important to manage your emotions and remain calm and focused. Taking deep breaths or using visualisation techniques can help you stay calm and focused.
Paediatric situations can be emotional for the patient and their family. Showing empathy and understanding can help build rapport and trust with the patient and their family.
Use positive reinforcement:
When working with children, positive reinforcement can be a useful tool. Praising children for their cooperation or bravery can help build their self-esteem and encourage positive behaviour.
Seek support from colleagues:
If you are struggling to manage a paediatric situation, seek support from your colleagues or mentors. They may be able to provide you with guidance and advice on how to handle the situation.
Practice active listening:
Active listening is critical when managing paediatric situations. Listen to the patient and their family’s concerns and respond with empathy and understanding. Repeat back what the patient or family has said to ensure that you have understood them correctly.
these situations can be emotionally draining. It’s essential to take care of yourself by taking breaks, practising relaxation techniques, and seeking support from colleagues or mentors.
You are human and when dealing with lots of firsts as a foundation doctor, you will be developing psychological skills to manage the situations you encounter.
Remember, there are strategies in our ‘Short on Time’ tools section that can support you before and after managing an emotive or challenging situation.