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Paediatric Health Care
What is Paediatrics?
Paediatrics is the area of medicine that deals with the medical care of babies, children, and adolescents. It ranges from birth to 18 years of age and until age 21 in the United States). A medical practitioner who specializes in paediatrics is known as a paediatrician. The word paediatrics literally translates from the Latin to healer of children. Paediatricians work both in hospitals and as primary care physicians specialising in children.
Difference Between Paediatrics and Adult Medicine
It is not only the difference body size but also changes brought on by maturation. The smaller body of a child is substantially different from that of a matured adult. Congenital defects, genetic variance, and developmental issues are of greater concern to paediatricians than adult physicians. When working in paediatrics it becomes a lot clearer that children are not simply “little adults”. A paediatrician must take into account the not yet matured physiology of the child when considering symptoms, medications, and illnesses.
One of the biggest differences between adult care and paediatrics is that children are not legally able to make decisions about their own care. This is when difficulties outside of the medical arise. These could involve guardianship, privacy, legal responsibility and informed consent. These are factors which must always be considered in every paediatric case.
Now to make things even more complicated adolescents (teenagers) are in their own legal class. They also have the right to make decisions on their own healthcare rights in certain circumstances. Finding the line between legal consent and non-legal consent (assent) of the child when considering treatment options, especially in the face of conditions with poor prognosis or complicated and painful procedures/surgeries, means a paediatrician must respect the wants/wishes of other people and not just the patient.
Qualities that are key to working in Paediatric Healthcare
- Committed to promoting the welfare of children
- comfortable with an informal and flexible environment
- good at communicating with a wide range of people
- Team player
- Good sense of humour
- Thick skin
Important aspects of working in Paediatric care
Paediatrics is concerned not only about immediate management of the ill child but also long term effects on quality of life, disability and survival. Paediatricians are involved with the prevention, early detection, and management of problems including:
- developmental delays and disorders
- behavioural problems
- functional disabilities
- social stresses
- mental disorders including depression and anxiety disorders
Another really big part of working in paediatrics is understanding how to safeguard children and adolescents.
All organisations that come into contact with children will have safeguarding policies and procedures. This is no different in a paediatric setting. These policies and procedures are there to ensure that every child, regardless of their age, gender, religion or ethnicity, is protected from harm.
Effective safeguarding procedures keep children out of harm. Whether that be from adults or other children.
- protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
- preventing harm to children’s health or development
- ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
- taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.
Ways to effectively safeguard children:
- establish, implement and follow safeguarding policies and procedures
- DBS Check all potential staff
- ensuring all staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the organisation’s safeguarding policies and procedures
- ensuring that all staff and volunteers receive child protection training
To find out more about working in the Paediatric Health Sector you can study our CACHE Level 3 Award in Healthcare Support in the Paediatric Setting.
This CACHE Level 3 course has been specifically designed to teach a range of knowledge required to work in a paediatric healthcare setting. Throughout this qualification, students learn the skills needed to work with children in a variety of setting including children social work and children hospitals
CACHE is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers.