When people are hospitalized, it’s natural for them to experience some fear and stress—and this can be especially so when the patient is a child whose routine has been disrupted in ways they may not understand. A study published by the National Library of Medicine has in fact demonstrated that levels of stress are “significantly higher” in hospitalized children versus non-hospitalized children, which isn’t surprising.
Helpful solutions can vary by the age of the child, and this post will explore them and then focus on ways in which an in-room healthcare TV can be a real difference maker.
Developmentally Appropriate Responses
According to the University of Kentucky HealthCare:
- Infants through toddlers: Ways to help them can include cuddling and rocking, helping caregivers understand what routines would be familiar to the children, playing with them when possible, and soothing music.
- Preschool children: At this age, children may fear that they’re in the hospital because they’ve done something wrong. So, reassure them and provide simple explanations of why they’re there and what procedures are needed. Offer them genuine choices when they’re available, and be patient with them if they regress to behaviors from an earlier age such as thumbsucking or bedwetting.
- School-age children: These children may fear pain or losing control because of their illness. So, reassure them that it’s okay to have those feelings and even to cry about them. By this point, they may be able to participate in more of their own care and make choices; an example is given: “Do you want to take your medicine with water or juice?”
- Teenagers: People in their teen years may struggle with a reduced level of privacy and lowered ability to act independently, and worry about how they look. Help them to maintain connections with friends and answer their questions. Allow them to have as much autonomy as is practical.
Across the age spectrum, additional solutions include helping them to experience as many of the comforts of home as possible and distracting them from their worries—and in-room hospital TVs in pediatric wards can help to address both issues.
Including the Comforts of Home
Ways in which healthcare facilities can create a more familiar environment for children in hospital rooms include making it easy for their families to be with them. Perhaps familiar-looking posters or pictures can be hung and a special toy and favorite blanket from home can be with the child. If a child has a night light that they use in their bedroom at home, having that moved to their hospital room can add to a sense of home.
And, of course, a hospital TV can allow the child to watch their favorite programs, play engaging games, and more.
Distracting the Child From Stress
Another National Library of Medicine study confirms how stressful a hospital stay can be for a child and also verifies that having the opportunity to find pleasurable distractions can provide some relief. While watching a favorite television show, for example, the child can be engaged in what’s happening in the program instead of worrying about health-related issues. Then, the benefits can continue when the child is able to talk to friends and family members about the shows they mutually enjoy. Older children can stay on track with what their treasured sports teams are doing and view the movies they might have done in their own homes.
Facilitating Reductions in Pain
Yet another study focuses on how “engaging in thoughts or activities that distract attention from pain is one of the most commonly used and endorsed strategies for controlling pain.” When a child is distracted from what hurts by directing attention towards another way to process information, they can feel better—and, again, a healthcare TV can be an excellent way to provide that distraction.
Choosing a TV for Hospital Rooms
Although, from a child’s perspective, the familiarity of the hospital TV plays a role in their enjoyment of the programming, hospital-grade TVs are not the same as consumer TVs found in homes.
Hospital-grade TVs are designed to meet the robust safety requirements for a healthcare setting. From a technical perspective, they should be UL-certified. UL inspects products, including hospital TVs, to ensure that they meet safety requirements and place their lasting mark on the devices. For healthcare TVs, the code is UL 60065 Annex Q.
A TV for hospital rooms should be easy to manage through patient remotes—ones that at least older children can use. Accompanying pillow speakers paired with these hospital TVs stream audio from programming and often incorporate nurse call buttons.
Hospital-grade TVs are also designed to be easily cleaned to fight against germs. This could include a microbial paint coating or other strategy. They also have grounding technologies to prevent shocks and burns and are crafted out of shatterproof materials.
Although younger children probably won’t care about what’s going on beneath the hood, hospital-grade TVs are designed so that hospital staff can adjust settings remotely, including the volume to control noise and allow patients to have a more peaceful environment.
Plus, these healthcare TVs go beyond providing entertainment by offering relaxation options to help lower stress for pediatric patients, games to engage them, and educational videos for their families to view together to gain further knowledge of medical conditions being addressed and treatments used.
Choose MDM for Your Healthcare TVs
MD offers commercial-grade hospital TVs for healthcare settings, including hospitals and other medical facilities. We are, in fact, one of the largest suppliers of hospital TVs in the United States, and each brand and model that we offer is designed to meet heavy demands for ongoing usage of healthcare TVs and other required standards.
With MDM, you’ll also benefit from our technical expertise, outstanding customer service, and much more. For more information, please contact us online or call our experts at (800) 359-6741 today.