Tips for Making Kids Comfortable During a Doctor's Visit

Make the doctor's office a friendlier place for kids.

Going to the doctor can be a scary trip for a kid, but you can help ease their nerves. The doctor's office is full of strange objects, weird smells and new faces, and kids don't always know how to handle that. If they're getting a shot, the visit can be even more stressful. Use the skills you acquired while getting your online nursing degree to help children feel at home (or at least, a little less frightened). Here's how:

Smile 
A smile can go a long way, especially for a scared child. Keep an upbeat attitude when interacting with the children who visit your office so they know they can relax too. Even if you aren't smiling outright, try to retain a soft expression - a lot people inadvertently look upset when they're concentrating. 

Treat them like adults
Many people are tempted to dumb down their vocabulary or raise the pitch of their voice when speaking with children. While kids haven't developed as much as you, they are still intelligent and curious people. Speak to them the way you would an adult (though minus any bad language, of course). If kids don't understand a word you used or a concept you explained, they'll ask for clarification - this kind of interaction makes for a great learning experience. 

Meet their height
Your towering figure can scare some kids - get down to their eye level when you interact in order to help them feel more comfortable. When the family first comes in to the office, kneel and introduce yourself to the child so they'll know you when you take them to the exam room. 

Ask questions
Get to know the kids you work with during the course of their visit. Some children loosen up when they talk about themselves or their favorite things. Ask about what games they like, their favorite subjects or their best friends. Try to relate without interrupting and remember to talk to them as if they were an adult. Avoid pushing kids, especially if you can tell they are very nervous. Wait for them to respond and encourage their answers with a smile.

Distract them
Asking questions and talking is a great way to distract kids from the fact they are in a foreign place. If your office has toys and games, try offering them to a scared child - this is a great option for kids who don't respond to talking. The game will hold their attention while you and the parent talk about issues or while you administer a shot. 

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_nursing

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