This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Caring For A Child With Autism In The Emergency Department

2505 words - 11 pages

1 out of 88 people are diagnosed with autism. 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in socialization, communication, and repetitive behaviors. 1,2 There is a wide range of symptoms as well as variations in levels of developmental delay and cognition. 1, 3 As the prevalence of autism continues to rise, more children with ASD are being seen in the emergency department. Healthcare staff often struggle to communicate effectively with this population of children and have difficulty finding appropriate interventions when challenging behaviors occur. 1 A 2011 study conducted in Pennsylvania surveyed 3500 parents of individuals ...view middle of the document...

For a child on the autism spectrum with sensory defensiveness, this type of environment may lead to sensory overload. 5 In the child’s state of altered health, typical coping mechanisms, as well as those of their family become overextended. The high state of anxiety, sensory overload, and compromised coping mechanisms may trigger challenging behaviors. 4 Parental stress is also elevated due to concern for their child’s condition, long wait times, and possibly over their child’s behavior. 1 As healthcare providers, it is important to show empathy towards both the child and family. Validating feelings of frustration and despair helps reduce defensiveness and aids in opening up discussions. 2
Children rarely present to the emergency department with a chief complaint of “autism”. It is typically revealed during the triage process. Many children with autism experience somatosensory disturbances that result in an over or under-reaction to stimuli. An overreaction to stimulation is more common in the emergency department and can complicate tasks such as obtaining vital signs during triage. 3 Triage nurses can increase patient comfort by using the least invasive techniques for collecting vitals. For example, a temporal temperature may be less upsetting to the child than oral, tympanic or axillary methods. Since some children with autism do not like the constricting sensation or red light of a pulse-ox, try applying it to a toe as opposed to a finger. Cover it with a slipper, thereby keeping it out of sight and mind. Then distract the patient. Use praise and incentives as soon as possible. These techniques will likely make the entire visit go more smoothly. 3 Stickers and high-fives are excellent options. Use of snacks and candy should be avoided since ED patients are instructed to take nothing by mouth until cleared otherwise. Children with autism tend to communicate better with when visual aids are paired with words. Keep verbal communication brief and use visual modeling techniques, such as holding out an arm when you need to take the patient’s blood pressure. 6 Depending on the child’s developmental level, offer simple choices such as choosing an arm for the blood pressure cuff. Simple choices increase patient’s personal autonomy and help the child feel more in control in the situation. 3 If the triage bay proves to be too overwhelming for the patient, it may be more effective to perform triage in the patient’s room. Keep in mind, vitals should be performed as soon as the patient reaches his or her room and not be passed to the next provider who may not be able to see the patient immediately. Initial vital signs are a front-line screening tool for the patient’s hemodynamic and respiratory state. Some vital signs reveal the need for rapid intervention and should not be delayed, especially in an emergency setting.
Creating a Comfortable Environment
When a patient reaches his or her room or bay, it is important to keep...

Find Another Essay On Caring for a Child With Autism in the Emergency Department

Pain Management: Barriers in the Emergency Department

1221 words - 5 pages properly document the patient’s report of pain or oligoanalgesia, or the under treatment of pain could occur. Pseudoaddiction is when a client being undertreated for pain becomes demanding for more medication and seems like he is inappropriately seeking drugs. Statistics The major concern of clients that have made an Emergency Department visit is due to pain. In fact, according to Tanabe and Buschmann 70 percent of patients who go to the

Caring for patients with cultural differences in a hospital setting

821 words - 4 pages According to (Hinkle & Cheever, 2014, p. 97) Culturally competent care is defines “as effective, individualized care that demonstrates respect for the dignity, personal rights, preferences, beliefs, and practices of the person receiving care while acknowledging the biases of the caregiver and preventing these biases from interfering with the care provided”. In caring for patients in the hospital setting today one must look at variety of

Patients’ privacy and satisfaction in the emergency department: A descriptive analytical study

674 words - 3 pages study is designed to investigate extent to which ER medical teams respect privacy of patients and the association with patients’ satisfaction. Nurses are responsible for 24HR care of patients; results of study can be applied in nursing field. Used sample of 360 patients admitted to three emergency departments, in Tehran University of Medical Science. Patients aged at least 15 years. First, researchers viewed books and articles on privacy for

Caring for a Patient with Alzheimer's Disease

3119 words - 12 pages , in buying goods, and also using everyday services (The Alzheimer Society of Ireland 2012). Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one type of dementia that accounts for between 50 and 60% of all people with dementia (Shire Ireland 2012). This disease can be viewed as a series of three stages: mild (early), moderate (middle) and severe (late)(Shire Ireland 2012). This condition includes such symptoms:  memory loss,  problems with use of language

Caring for Drunks in the Hospital Setting

711 words - 3 pages greater risk for injuries and harmful situations. Caring for Binge Drinkers Alcohol poisoning is often treated with alternative methods, but contrary to most situations the user needs emergency medical attention to properly evaluate and treat the individual. The nurse’s first assessment, as with most patients, should be to take vital signs and determine any abnormalities (Donnelly, et al., 2013). These authors state that patients with alcohol


1952 words - 8 pages acknowledgment from the leader through the expression of optimism, decisiveness and confidence towards the leader resulting in effectiveness in implementation of the vision (Bass & Riggio, 2005). Therefore, it is important to introduce transformative leadership in improving activities within the emergency department (Paludi & Coates, 2011). Time and Cost Analysis The time and cost frame in addressing the issue is provided: • Time – A

Best Practice in Caring for Patients with an Ostomy

877 words - 4 pages provide the patient with an approximate time frame of how long the surgery will take, the recovery period, and then plan for once the nurse discharges the patient. Taylor (2012) suggests preoperative information place a valuable role in reducing postoperative pain anxiety and aiding faster recovery. The patient should be allowed to ask questions not only of the surgery but the recovery, expectations for long term care, and what psychosocial and

Caring For Patients With Dementia

961 words - 4 pages Caring for dementia involves a lot of patience and understanding. It should be dealt with audacity and flawlessness to ensure the vulnerable adults’ well-being. Aiding at home or care home required carers to be at their best, physically and emotionally. The responsibility can be distressing but it is rewarding as well since helping dementia adults in their day to day activities is a significant matter for them. However, carers need a pause as

Caring for Children with ADHD

881 words - 4 pages hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive disorder. Treatments can relieve many of the disorder’s symptoms. For a child to be diagnosed for ADHD, the child or adult has to have the symptoms for 6 or more months before the doctor can diagnose the child or adult.Certain medicines can help people with ADHD by improving their focus and attention and reducing their impulsiveness and hyperactivity. Some of the medications are Adderall, Adderall XR, Concerta

Caring For Patients with Dysphagia

1616 words - 6 pages in patients, but they are only available during the workweek unlike nurses. Nurses are in patient care settings more often, caring for patients on a more personal level. Nursing is a very important profession that contributes greatly to quality of care and life because nurses are more involved with the patient’s personal care. The nursing staff helps assess dysphagia using certain assessment tools taught by Speech Language Pathologists

Fluid and Electrolyte Management in Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State in the Emergency Department

2898 words - 12 pages Fluid and electrolyte management in Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic state in the emergency department Introduction Diabetes Mellitus is a growing issue for health care providers internationally. The World Health organization estimated in 2013 there were 347 Million diabetics worldwide, predicting that Diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030 (WHO, 2013). In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes Mellitus, factors

Similar Essays

Stress In The Emergency Department Essay

2275 words - 10 pages Stress, Burnout, and Compassion Fatigue in the Emergency Department Background Nursing is a field that many enter with the intention of helping and providing care to those with mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs (Lombardo & Eyre, 2011). Many consider nursing as their calling; yet have not prepared themselves for the emotional and physical implications that come from having interpersonal relationships with families and patients. As

A Child With Autism Essay

1517 words - 6 pages ). Now imagine being the parent of that child. Overwhelming, isn't it? It makes one wonder how having an autistic child affects a family? I have worked with autistic children and their families for two and a half years and in this time I have wondered about the above question. I realize that I grew up in a family that didn't know how fortunate we were to have four healthy children. This realization led me to choose autism for my paper. In search of

Collaboration Meeting For Process Excellence In The Emergency Department

2274 words - 9 pages functions are explored to make sure this team collaboration is effective at providing care to patients in the emergency department. The ER Director or “team leader” (Finkelman, 2012, p. 330) for this project was observed discussing the goals and team tasks. This ER Director is a newer member of the group, recently hired by the department in January. Taking into consideration the amount of time this team leader had been involved with this meeting, it

Assessments And Developmental Treatment Plan For A Child With Autism

1683 words - 7 pages much in his play scenarios as might have been expected. He did engage with toys functionally, representationally, and in a symbolic way. He did not have any restricted interests or repetitive behaviors. No sensory-seeking behaviors were noted either. Overall, Daniel showed good social communication and engagement and no restricted interests or repetitive behaviors. Scores on the ADOS-2 were below the cutoff for an autism spectrum disorder. He