Understanding the role of caregivers of hospitalized children
Waser, Katie Elizabeth
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When facing a child’s hospitalization, caregivers may be unclear about how to best help their child or adolescent. Caregivers of hospitalized children are instrumental in helping children and adolescents endure the stressors that often accompany pediatric hospitalization. Existing research suggests that parents often desire to play a role in the care of their hospitalized children but may face confusion as to what such a role looks like. This study explores the nature of caregivers of hospitalized children within pediatric hospitals utilizing the perspectives of 40 Certified Child Life Specialists. Themes are identified, indicating what child life specialists and other pediatric healthcare professionals can do to assist caregivers of hospitalized children in fulfilling their caregiving role despite the unfamiliar hospital context. A resource is developed to empower and guide caregivers through their child or adolescent’s hospitalization.