Lesson 1: Understanding the Importance of Unconditional Love and Care at the Bedside

A Harvard study lists “the availability of at least one stable, caring, and supportive relationship between a child and an adult caregiver” as a key element in helping a child to be resilient in the face of ad­versity. The active presence of just one caring adult at a pediatric bedside can make a difference in influencing a positive healing outcome.

Caregiver/patient relationships are analogous to teacher/student relationships in that empathetic, unconditional care upon the part of the adult tends to evoke a positive response in the child. Kids are much more likely to listen to, and respond positively to, a care-provider’s instructions and care if they feel like the nurse or respiratory therapist likes them. The most effective bedside practitioners are intentional about creating a nurturing environment, and the best tool for creating such an environment is unconditional love and care.

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