In my younger years, I was hospitalized for a few weeks and was in and out of surgeries and appointments throughout my childhood. After growing up, I realized there are significant differences between being a patient as a child and as an adult. These differences should impact how care is given and how adults feel about their care and the care for their children.
Children already listen to adults
As a child, you are programmed to listen to what adults tell you to do. Your mom tells you to clean your room, and you do just that, because you know in the back of your head that she pays your bills and feeds you. When you are in the hospital, listening to doctors and nurses, all being adults, is just like listening to your parents. When a doctor tells you it’s time to change a dressing on your wound, you follow what he tells you because you are trained to thinking that adults know what’s best for you; and many times they do. As an adult in the hospital, you have your own way of thinking. Adults will tend to buck what they have to do, because no one can make them. After your doctor tells you to do an hour of therapy in the morning, adults brains might think, “Oh, 45 minutes is close enough, I can determine my therapy needs that myself because I am an adult and can make my own decisions.” Doctors and nurses will struggle more to get adult patients to do what they prescribe. Adult patients should take their doctors advice seriously and respectfully. This makes staying in a hospital easier for children than for adults, because it is already a part of a child’s life to listen to what adults tell them to do.
Children think optimistically
No matter what the situation, kids tend to make the best of any situation. Knowing that they are stuck in the hospital and they cannot leave until they are better, they will make the best and try to have a little fun. Adults who fail to have a positive attitude will end up in a mental rut. Adults mentally have to see themselves as healthy again, and remember the things they have to look forward to. Times spent in the hospital cannot all be bright, but opportunities to think positively should not be missed.
Children are tough
That needle that an adult is so afraid to face, a child is just as scared of, but kids can tough things out much easier than adults can. Many children have the mental capability to just ignore physical pain, or just brush it off. Their bodies are growing quickly and are meant to repair quickly. They are adapted to scraping their knee and getting up off the ground to continue to play. Adults, on the other hand, will continue to think about their aches and pains for as long as they are around. Adults need to recall the high pain tolerance they had as a child and change how they view their capability to take pain.
Adults have many more worries
Adults have more things on their plate. When they are in the hospital a million things will run through their head about the future, their family, bills, and much more. Kids have little to think about; they live for the present. Children typically do not have much to worry about because their parents are there to provide for them and they only concentrate on getting healthy and getting to go home to enjoy life as a child.
Take these thoughts into consideration the next time you, your child, a family member, or friend is hospitalized. Being in such situation is never fun or easy, but remembering these diverse views will help the hard time pass a little easier. Getting healthy is partly mental, and these thoughts seem to make the simple minds of children benefit during a hospital stay.