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Educación Médica

Print version ISSN 1575-1813


CRUZ-HERNANDEZ, Manuel. A renewed challenge in Paediatric Education: Patient-Paediatrician and Family Relationship. Educ. méd. [online]. 2004, vol.7, n.4, pp.23-28. ISSN 1575-1813.

A pressing issue in paediatric education is to improve Patient-Paediatrician and Family relationships (PPFR).  This paper highlights the following aspects: promoting the connection between paediatricians and Patient/Family organizations; improving the information system, from the moment of the first contact with the family: eliminating barriers to allow parents to accompany admitted children at all times; and encouraging parents to play a more active role in their children’s in-patient care. Hospitalization should be as short as possible. Hospital schools should be established, and those already existing should be improved, given their important psychological and educational role. PPFR must be improved at all levels of paediatric education, stressing its importance at undergraduate level, exploring the subject in detail in postgraduate training, and performing periodic concept reviews in continuing education. However, PPFR can be impaired as a result of staff shortages or insufficient diagnostic and therapeutic means. A motivated health team contributes to promote a truly humanistic climate for the patient and family. Efficient organization is essential, since lack of time, repeated delays or defective archives may undermine the best intentions.  In the teamwork setting, the staff in charge of the patient must be appointed promptly and must take responsibility for providing information. Patient’s age (toddler, children or adolescent), the relationship of the family member (parent, grand-parent, or other), and the social, cultural and religious background are all variables that should be taken into account. The media have a great impact: newspapers, radio, television and Internet may have an unwanted effect if the family receives incomplete or incorrect information. Staff should be aware of the dangers of this media information. To achieve appropriate PPFR in these changing times, the paediatrician’s professional and human profile needs to bear in mind the variability of family structures, the rapid maturity of the young, the problems posed by the bureaucracy of the health system and city lifestyle. All these factors add to the complexity of the task and may induce anxiety, thus impeding a satisfactory PPFR.

Keywords : Patient-Paediatrician - Family Relationship; Paediatric Education; Paediatric Training; Patient-caregiver relationships; Communication Skills Teaching.

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