Medical procedures vary in their invasiveness, duration, frequency and painfulness, but share common elements that can be stressful for children, such as loss of control, exposure to unfamiliar people, sights and sounds, and separation from parents. Not surprisingly, negative emotional and behavioral reactions to procedures are not uncommon, and range from verbal expressions of discomfort, to resistance, physical protest and refusal to cooperate. This course provides health professionals with knowledge and behavioral strategies to help children and their parents cope with a range of medical procedures, from well-care procedures (e.g., immunizations, blood draws) to diagnostic studies (e.g., endoscopies, urodynamic studies) to treatment (e.g., catheterizations, surgery). The course reviews common predictors of medical anxiety, and provides an overview of developmental and psychological factors that can impact patients’ reactions to procedures. It also provides an overview of effective strategies health professionals can implement to reduce distress and promote coping for both patients and parents.
This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.
After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
- Identify and assess 4 common predictors of medical anxiety in pediatric populations.
- Recognize the unique influencial factors on young patients’ reactions to medical procedures across 4 developmental stages from infancy through adolescence.
- Distinguish how 2 styles of individual coping (e.g., approach vs. avoidance; problem- vs. emotion-focused) can impact reactions to procedures for both patients and parents.
- Implement over 10 simple patient- and parent-based strategies to reduce distress and promote coping among youth in response to medical procedures, including implications for aftercare.