Importance of family-centred care

Whilst I’m holed up in bed recovering from the flu, I thought I’d share with you all the poem I wrote and analysed for my latest assignment. Following a nurse talking to various patients and family members, the poem considers nursing communication in the context of children and family-centred care; a concept which results in many positive outcomes. My current placement has further reinforced the importance of family centred care on the wellbeing of the child, highlighted some of the challenges presented by caring for more than the child alone and shown me the immensely amazing work that children’s nurses do every day.

Here goes…

Meeting for the first time, into the realm of the unknown
You’re quiet, and I can only realise the things that you have shown
I need to know all about you, I don’t want to assume
Not sure how to approach you all, it’s all a bit too soon

You sit on the end of the bed; silent, listening closely
I spoke to your parents who answered for you, mostly
I turned to you to ask you how you felt
It was apparent you wanted to answer the questions for yourself

It’s difficult and I can’t always find the words
It’s important that I listen to you but that your child’s needs are heard
If time was infinite, I’d hold your hand and dry your tears
Show you everything you need to do and how, for all the coming years

You began to cry, scream, kick and swear,
I reassured you, calmed you down; let you know I was there
I know you’re worried about this scary, new place
But a joke was all it took, then the anger flooded from your face

It’s not always easy, explaining the things you’ll need to do
Sometimes you don’t understand, still disbelieving facts which are true
I explained everything in detail, as simply as I could
You said it all confused you, but of course that you would

Waving their arms, screeching, hurling abuse
I had to say ‘take a seat, this is inappropriate and just no use’
The time came eventually when they began to see reason
So consumed by emotions and struggling to overcome them

Your parents were concerned about you being left alone
Whilst you were afraid you’d miss school and be forgotten at home
I sat by your side, listened to all of your cares
Told you a problem is often halved when it’s shared

Constantly aware of the tone of my voice and the words that I use
Ensuring my facial expressions are right and that I’ve polished my shoes
Sometimes my mind is elsewhere, but it’s never intended
Always thinking about the day that’s passed long after it’s ended

Time flies away caring for you and those you hold dear
Giving advice and instruction, helping you all confront your fears
I help you appreciate your worth and release any tension
Raise everyone’s spirits and encourage emotion

Establishing the information you already know
You’re still raw, reeling from the emotional blow
How do I approach this and can it be made easier?
You feel alone, but we’re together… we all want to help her

Struggling to let me know what’s wrong, but why?
Frustrated, tense, cautious and incredibly shy
Pointing at the cupboard for something, but what?
Irritably attacking the sides of your cot

Struggling to find the time to engage with you actively
Not wanting to ignore your views just because you’re having difficulty
Attempting to involve you in each step of the process
Using objects, symbols, pictures and photographs

Constantly reminded that no one child is the same
Always adapting my approach and the way I behave
Language and touch tailored to each child’s needs
Individualising care for each talk, play and feed

When I look at you I see a child, but so much more
I see a whole family that place you at their core
A brother and sister that miss you to talk to
A father and mother that would do anything for you

With all of these people you’ll agree, it makes it quite tough
To focus on you through times that are rough
Communicating effectively, concerned and kind
Supporting you all is never far from my mind.

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