1. Paden, Mary E. DNP, RN, CPNP
  2. Molloy, Margory A. DNP, RN, CNE, CHSE

Article Content

When planning and providing nursing care to pediatric patients, it is vital to consider each child's unique developmental stage, which determines nearly every aspect of care. To provide nursing students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the developmental stages in the planning of appropriate pediatric care, we created an interactive, in-class group activity. The class was divided into 6 groups. Three groups were assigned with planning an age-appropriate birthday party, 1 group for toddler age, 1 for preschool age, and 1 for school-age children. The remaining 3 groups were responsible for planning patient care for a toddler, preschooler, and school-age child in the acute care setting. Keeping developmental appropriateness in mind, students considered the following categories: safety precautions, food choices, types of games and activities, communication style, and number of guests at/length of the party. They were then required to present their plan to the class and provide a rationale for each element. This in-class activity provided our students the opportunity not only to practice applying their knowledge of developmental stages in planning appropriate care for pediatric patients, but also to think critically about every patient they encounter, to ensure patient-centered, personalized care.