What is this article about?
Ask any nurse and they will no doubt already know that when children and young people present to healthcare environments, they are faced with a range of emotions from fear to anxiety, all of which are potentially exacerbated by unfamiliar surroundings, people and equipment. Compared to adults, children have fewer coping mechanisms. When experiencing pain or illness, their distress levels often escalate, causing a flow-on effect to not only parents and caregivers, but healthcare providers alike. This is perhaps no more evident than when attempting painful or uncomfortable procedures, such as taking blood. In some circumstances, even obtaining vital signs may have negative emotional or behavioural consequences.
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