Best practices handling Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress

Why A Toolkit?

distress2This toolkit was produced by the Medical Traumatic Stress Working Group of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) to:

  • Raise awareness among health care providers about traumatic stress associated with pediatric medical events and medical treatment, as it may affect children and families.
  • Promote “trauma-informed practice” of pediatric health care in hospital settings across the continuum of care and in a variety of settings within the hospital - e.g., from emergency care, to specialized inpatient units, to the ICU.

This compendium of materials is designed for hospital-based health care providers (physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals.) The materials may also be of use to mental health professionals who work in health care settings.
The materials provide:

  • an introduction to traumatic stress as it relates to children facing illness, injury, other medical events
  • practical tips and tools for health care providers, and
  • handouts that can be given to parents that present evidence-based tips for helping their child cope

The stories of two children (Tommy — a school-age boy struck by a car, and Maria — an adolescent girl newly diagnosed with cancer) are presented as part of the toolkit. These composite cases are used to help bring these issues to life and to illustrate ways in which toolkit materials could be useful to providers at various points in the continuum of care.

pdfPediatric Medical Traumatic Stress. A Comprehensive Guide

More information: website The Mational Child Traumatic Stress Network