Care of the Seriously Ill or Injured Child

A Seminar for Nurses in Acute Care Settings

12 Hours | 0 Mins
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This seminar is for nurses who want to be more confident in their skills and knowledge when assessing and managing seriously ill or injured children. Includes:

  • Differences between nursing children and adults
  • Assessment of a sick child
  • Fluid management
  • Dealing with shock
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Altered consciousness
  • Drowning
  • Abdominal and chest injuries
  • Head and spinal injuries
  • Burns and scalds

This seminar is highly interactive and case study based to ensure your learning is highly relevant to the clinical setting.

Need for Program

Nurses working in acute settings are required to provide care for children, but many have little knowledge of what to do if a child is seriously ill or injured. There is a need for nurses who work with children to have access to credible, up-to-date, well evaluated education in the care of infants and children who become seriously ill or are injured.

Aims of Program

The aim of this highly interactive program is to provide an opportunity for general and paediatric nurses to update their skills in the care of seriously ill or injured children in the acute setting. Participants will gain information and knowledge about current emergency interventions for children with a wide variety of presenting problems. This program does not address the care and management of children who are seriously ill due to chronic or terminal illnesses, such as cancer or cystic fibrosis.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this program it is expected that the participants will be able to:

  1. Assess a seriously ill infant or child and prioritise care
  2. Outline the major differences that relate to the care of a child versus the care of an adult with a similar injury
  3. Develop knowledge of nursing care and management of a clinically shocked child
  4. Determine the considerations that need to be taken into account when a serious injury, such as a burn, has occurred.


Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Assessment of the Seriously Ill or Injured Child

There is a clear difference between the nursing care of adults and that of children. These differences relate to both physiological and psychosocial issues. This session looks at the anatomical, physiological and developmental differences of infants and children compared to adults, and the differences in the nursing approaches to care that need to be made will also be discussed.

All public hospitals in Australia are expected to comply with Standard 9 of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare, which relates to recognising and responding to clinical deterioration in acute health care. This session will highlight some of the issues relating to clinical deterioration in infants and children.

  • Overview of pathophysiological considerations.
  • Review of some key indicators of serious illness in children.
  • A process for assessing a seriously ill or injured child.
  • Identify signs of deterioration and know the appropriate steps to take.

11:00am - Morning Tea and Coffee


Fluid Management in Children

An overview of the fluid balance and the principles of enteral and intravenous fluid management in infants and children. How much fluid do you replace and how do you prevent complications?

  • How to assess dehydration in a child.
  • The role of nurses in regard to identifying and caring for children who are dehydrated as a result of gastroenteritis or diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Fluid replacement and precautions.
  • Reassessing fluid status

12:45pm - Lunch Break and Networking


The Child in Shock

Shock is a serious and unstable state which requires early identification and immediate, appropriate nursing care and management. Review the characteristics of shock in children and what you need to do if you suspect its presence. A number of different clinical scenarios will be discussed and the appropriate management strategies presented.

Meningococcal disease is a potentially life-threatening condition that can present in many different ways and the correct diagnosis can be challenging in the early stages of illness. This session will outline the presenting signs and symptoms and discuss the ongoing management.

  • Types of shock and how to identify the underlying cause.
  • Causes of shock.
  • Nursing care and management, and how to prioritise care.
  • Complications of shock.
  • Meningococcal disease – identification and management.

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Basic and Advanced Life Support for Infants and Children

Cardiac arrest is rare in children and the management strategies may be quite different to those in adults. The cause is usually due to hypoxia or hypovolaemia, but in some cases it may be a primary cardiac event. The different management strategies will be presented along with discussion on how cardiac arrest may be avoided.

  • What is new in basic and advanced life support for children?
  • Intraosseous infusions – are they needed and, if so, under which circumstances?
  • Defibrillation – when is it indicated and how it is performed on an infant or child?

4:30pm - Close of Day One of Program

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Management of Severe Respiratory Illnesses

There are many respiratory diseases that affect children, ranging from minor to very severe and possibly even life-threatening. Learn how to interpret the common signs and symptoms of serious respiratory disease and the appropriate nursing response and management strategies.

  • What are some of the common severe respiratory diseases that affect young children?
  • Skills needed for assessing asthma, bronchiolitis, croup and pneumonia, and the management of these conditions.
  • What is the role of oxygen therapy for seriously ill children?

10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


Nursing Care of a Child with an Altered State of Consciousness

Children experience coma as a result of many different conditions and this session will teach you how to differentiate the possible causes. Seizures present in many different ways and also have a range of causes; this session presents an overview of the management according to each cause. Many children ingest medicines or other substances that may be life-threatening; learn how to differentiate those who need treatment and the variety of treatments available.

  • Assess the possible causes of seizures and their management.
  • Learn how poisoning can be a cause of altered consciousness.


Drowning – A Common Cause of Accidental Death in Children

Childhood drowning is still a pervasive menace causing many deaths in children and infants. Learn what to do if you are involved in a drowning incident.

  • What is needed for the initial and ongoing management of the child?

12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking


Abdominal and Chest Injuries

A review of nursing care relating to chest and abdominal injuries in children.

  • How to assess the severity of different types of chest injuries.
  • Assessment of abdominal injuries.
  • Stabilisation and management of a child with chest and/or abdominal injuries.


Head and Spinal Injuries

When a child experiences a head or spinal injury, the immediate care can have profound implications for the child’s prognosis.

  • What are the crucial interventions necessary to stabilise children who have experienced trauma related to head and spinal injuries?

2:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Burns and Scalds

A scald is an injury caused by hot liquid, whereas a burn is an injury caused by dry heat. This session will look at the types of trauma caused by heat mechanisms and learn how to assess and apply first aid to such injuries.

  • Assessment of the degree of burn or scalds.
  • Immediate management of such injuries.


Transferring Seriously Ill or Injured Children

When a child or infant is so seriously ill that they require transportation to a specialist centre, they need to be carefully prepared for the journey. This final session reviews the process that needs to be considered in order to protect the child and prevent further injury from occurring.

  • How do you prepare a child for transfer?
  • What are the main risks associated with transfers?
  • Considerations when deciding on the mode of transport.
  • What about the family?

4:00pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations



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