Essay On Impact Of Hospitalization On a Child

Impact Of Hospitalization On Patient (Chaz)

Process Of Hospitalization

Hospitalization Is a Process That Requires Leaving Home And Being In An Unfamiliar Place As a Patient, Away From Parents, Siblings, And Daily Routine. It results in vulnerability, stress, emotional disturbance, and fear (Alzahrani, 2021). Hospitalization highly impacts Chaz because he is unable express his pain and fears due to his non-verbal conditions. Hospitals can be responsible for increasing the feeling of danger, depression, and anxiety and degrading patients' emotional status. It impacts a patient's psychological, psychosocial, and emotional well-being. Chaz require emotional support from their family members and loved ones so that their period of hospitalization passes smoothly. Among all the patients, younger patients experience higher stress, anxiety, and depression levels than adult patients (Alzahrani, 2021). 

Feelings Of Children During Hospitalization

Chaz often feel extremely distressed by hospitalization, which impacts the medical procedures and can affect future medical treatments and hospitalization and treatments negatively. Chaz’s emotional development, physical growth, and personality development can also be negatively impacted by hospitalization. Chaz avoids eye contact, does not talk to anyone and shows repetitive body movements like flicking fingers, flapping hands etc. Anxiety in Chaz due to hospitalization is expressed through lack of cooperation, aggression, difficulty recovering from medical procedures, regressive behavior, and withdrawal. Hospitalized children fear being separated from their loved ones and family members. He feels homesick, emotional, and stuck in an unfamiliar environment where they do not have emotional support and assistance. 

Impacts Of Hospitalization

Hospitalization can result in changed eating habits, disrupted routine and sleep schedule, hypersensitivity, and fear and aggression toward an unfamiliar environment. Chaz shows regression in different phases when they are hospitalized. A phase of protest (Aggressive behavior), despair (uninterested and less active), detachment (denial and superficial adjustment to new environment), followed by resignation (detach from parents to escape emotional pain and homesickness). Temper issues, tantrums, crying, refusing to eat, isolation, loneliness, boredom, etc., are mostly observed in Chaz (Delvecchio et al., 2019). Chaz does not talk to other children and does not smile back if someone in hospital smiles at him. Chaz gets irritated in noisy places and hospital can be a quiet noisy place which can trigger Chaz leading to unpleasant behaviour. 

Coping Strategies To Support Patient

Hospitalization can be an overwhelming experience for Chaz as he experience mixed emotions of fear, sadness, anxiety, and separation. Coping up with an experience of hospitalization can be very difficult for him. He should be helped in every way possible so that his hospitalization period can complete smoothly. Indulging in fun activities that do not affect his health helps him cope with hospitalization. Children in a healthcare facility should be encouraged to be friends and feel a familiar environment. In addition, communication is the key to easing someone's anxiety and fear. Proper communication between hospitalized children and caregivers in hospitals can help decrease depression levels. Hospital staff can help Chaz by treating him with empathy and properly caring for him so he does not feel homesick (NHS, 2021). In addition, family members and friends play an important role in helping children quickly cope with hospitals' unfamiliar and unpleasant environment. Regular visits to hospitals, feeding them their favorite foods, and bringing a reminder from home can lead to positive changes in them and help in recover quickly. Arranging a virtual meeting with close friends and family who cannot visit the hospital can help bring positive changes in Chaz’s condition. In addition, indulging in hobbies such as painting, music, singing, etc., can help Chaz cope quickly with the hospital environment. Apart from this, meditation helps a lot in reducing stress levels, pain, and mental strain. The presence of family members helps a lot in recovering quickly. Chaz can frankly discuss his problems and fears with family members, which helps him go through the hospitalization period easily. Small portions of favorite snacks and pictures of friends and family at the bedside can help him gather emotional and mental strength (Edward-Elmhurst Health, 2018).        

Impact Of Hospitalization On Family

Family members of Chaz experience fear, helplessness, distress, worry, anxiety, and nervousness. Simultaneously managing life in the hospital and home is very stressful for family members. Seeing their loved one hospitalized in painful conditions can be a very overwhelming and distressing experience. Often they can experience anger when they notice that their loved one is not getting proper treatment and care. Family members often face humiliation and disrespectful and rude behavior from hospital staff (AWCH, n.d). It is evident that family members focus on the health of ill relatives and put their health at risk by ignoring and not taking care of themselves. Caregiving burden and stress contribute to the health risk of immediate family members of hospitalize patients. They face loneliness and isolation as they are in unfamiliar surroundings. Sometimes hospital staff does not provide them with appropriate and enough information regarding the treatment being provided to the patient. In this condition, a lack of knowledge can be very distressing and cause a sense of helplessness (Ruckholdt et al., 2016). Being present for ill family members to provide whatever is needed can be very stressful. It can lead to loss of privacy and personal space, but family members focus completely on the hospitalized ill member, which leads to adverse impacts on their own life. Sometimes doctors provide insufficient information, whereas sometimes, information overload happens. It leads family members into a panic and confused situation as they do not have much education regarding medical conditions and terms. While providing for an ill member suffering from autism, families go into lack resources and financial backup. It can lead to depression and anxiety as the family worries about the future as they do not have any other option because saving the patient's life is the priority (Ruckholdt et al., 2016).

Coping Strategies To Support Family

Coping with the stress of a young ill patient in the family is much harder. Family members go through many emotional and stressful situations when someone from a family is hospitalized. Family members often feel difficult and unprepared when they have to see their loved ones in such situations. Dealing with stress and an unpleasant situation like the hospitalization of a loved one can be very difficult. Some people cope with these stressful situations and emotions positively, whereas others cannot deal with such situations properly. Providing emotional support, cognitively restructuring, distracting from a stressful situation, helping to express their emotions, etc., can help family members deal with unpleasant situations easily (Rückholdt et al., 2019). Sometimes changing the environment, encouraging to rest, taking a break from external pressures, and taking help of appropriate resources to lower stress levels can also positively help family members. Family members of Chaz should be kept away from negative thoughts, avoidance, substance abuse, etc., to avoid any other unpleasant situation. However, family members must be encouraged to think positively, seek and utilize appropriate social support from friends and family (Walke et al., 2018). Proper communication and extensive emotional support can help family members go through such tough situations smoothly. Family members should be given some time out of such situations so that they can distract their minds and not affect their health and life. Proper understanding between family members for shifts in a hospital to look after the ill member can prevent one person from taking all responsibilities and risking their health. Family members also need support and understanding so they do not deteriorate their quality of life. Suppose in adverse conditions, a family member/ caregiver cannot cope with unpleasant situations properly. In that case, it can lead to abuse of the patient and further deterioration in health conditions (Walke et al., 2018).           

Discharge Planning

While discharging Chaz, it is important to discharge him to parents or legal guardians only. Proper arrangements for Chaz's discharge according to his medical condition should be made. Appropriate and clear instructions must be given to the patient's caregivers so there is no scope for any blunder. Family members and caregivers must be aware and careful that they do not use figurative language including idiomatic expressions and sarcasm etc. in front of Chaz. While discharging a Chaz's medications, timing and doses should be properly briefed to the caregiver so that he can recover as soon as possible. Any possible side effects of medications should also be briefed, and the caregiver should be asked to inform immediately if side effects occur. Any therapies that can be helpful in quick recovery should be suggested to the caregiver and family members of the Chaz. A proper diet plan should be prescribed to Chaz, and caregivers should follow it properly for a better recovery. Caregivers should be assured that they can ask any query and confusion related to a patient's care and should be provided proper follow-up whenever required (UPMC, n.d). Dimming lights of room, allowing Chaz to do repetitive movements and using weighted vests or blankets can help in soothing him in uneasy situation and caregivers must be educated regarding these.
Chaz’s family should be briefly explained to and educated about the best care plans after discharging. Providing details about community resources and better ways to access them can help family members take proper care of the patient after discharge. Family members also feel comfortable and more confident if they have proper knowledge about the care plan and available resources to help them take appropriate care of the patient after discharge. Family members should be educated about long-term care, home care, caregiver support, and financial planning to provide better care. They should be recommended to join caregiver support programs so they do not feel overwhelmed by all the responsibilities. Caregivers of a Chaz should be involved in decision-making processes, and they have the right to know about the progress of their ill family member's health condition. Families should be educated about their rights (RUNNYMEDE, 2018). 


Alzahrani, N. 2021. The effect of hospitalization on patients' emotional and psychological well-being among adult patients: An integrative review. Applied Nursing Research, 61, 151488.
AWCH. n.d. Effects of Hospitalization on Children. Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare. 
Delvecchio, E., Salcuni, S., Lis, A., Germani, A., & Di Riso, D. 2019. Hospitalized children: anxiety, coping strategies, and pretend play. Frontiers in public health, 7, 250.

Edward-Elmhurst Health. 2018. 10 ways to cope with long stays in the hospital. EEHealth. Healthy Driven.

NHS. 2021. Coping with being in hospital. NHS Foundation Trust.

Rückholdt, M., Tofler, G H., & Buckley, T. 2016. The impact of hospitalization on a visiting family member: A case study and discussion.

Rückholdt, M., Tofler, G. H., Randall, S., & Buckley, T. (2019). Coping by family members of critically ill hospitalized patients: An integrative review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 97, 40-54.


UPMC. n.d. Discharge Planning. Children's Hospital Of Pittsburgh.
Walke, S. C., Chandrasekaran, V., & Mayya, S. S. (2018). Caregiver burden among caregivers of mentally ill individuals and their coping mechanisms. Journal of neurosciences in rural practice, 9(02), 180-185.
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