[ANSWERED 2023] The needs of the pediatric patient differ depending on age, as do the stages of development and the expected assessment findings for each stage

The needs of the pediatric patient differ depending on age, as do the stages of development and the expected assessment findings for each stage.

The needs of the pediatric patient differ depending on age, as do the stages of development and the expected assessment findings for each stage

The needs of the pediatric patient differ depending on age, as do the stages of development and the expected assessment findings for each stage. In a 500-750-word paper, examine the needs of a schoolaged child between the ages of 5 and 12 years old and discuss the following:

  1. Compare the physical assessments among schoolaged children. Describe how you would modify assessment techniques to match the age and developmental stage of the child.
  2. Choose a child between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Identify the age of the child and describe the typical developmental stages of children that age.
  3. Applying developmental theory based on Erickson, Piaget, or Kohlberg, explain how you would developmentally assess the child. Include how you would offer explanations during the assessment, strategies you would use to gain cooperation, and potential findings from the assessment.

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Expert Answer and Explanation

Physical Assessments in School-Aged Children

Physical assessment varies with different ages. Among school-going children, the physical assessment done is different from what could be done for younger children. At this age, the children have already developed some sense of body consciousness, which makes them more preserved about their bodies (De Onis, 2017). It is therefore essential for the nurse to consider whether the child wants the assessment to be done in the presence of their parents or not.

Just like in the previous assessment age groups, school-going children are still assessed using the head-to-toe method. The nurse should start the examination by carrying out a physical inspection of the child. Depending on the assessment, other techniques like palpation, percussion, and auscultation, can be done subsequently to get a clear picture of the child’s status.

Typical developmental stages of children at age 7

Using the three developmental charts based on Erickson, Piaget, and Kohlberg, a seven-year-old child is intellectually curious and develops an industrious attitude knowing they will get recognition for being productive. The child also develops a feeling of either superiority or inferiority, depending on how people react to their actions.

The child also develops a sense of obedience to those in authority with the belief that there is an ultimate reward for being obedient. The child also becomes aware of the overt societal rules and conventions and conform to them. The child, at this age, is also able to isolate fantasies from reality and develops critical thinking skills (Varghese & Susmitha, 2015).

The social interaction of the child also changes, with them being able to understand that people have different feelings and thoughts on how they view things. They make friends and start developing rules to govern their interactions, which gives them a sense of belonging/peer acceptance within their friendship circle. The child will also begin to develop a sense of independence from their parents and interacting with friends who are mainly from their gender orientation. The child at this stage will have started knowing their body better and will be more vocal in explaining any pains in specific parts of their body.

Application of developmental theory in the child’s assessment

Using Erikson’s 8 stages of emotional development, examining the child’s interaction with his peers and those who are close to them can help get the needed information. As indicated earlier, the social and emotional aspects of the child at seven years have become more developed. An interaction with them on their social behaviors can therefore help to assess the development of the child (Cherry, 2018). Getting input from the parents can also help to augment the information obtained from the child.

When offering an explanation to the child during the assessment, the nurse should be simple in their description so that the patient can understand. The pacing of the nurse explanation should also be factored when helping the patient to comprehend what the assessment is all about. Taking time to engage the patient’s queries, if any, can help them feel more at ease and dispel their worries during the assessment. The nurse should always encourage the child to participate during the assessment.

Minding the child’s modesty when carrying out the assessment will go a long way in improving their cooperation. Having them cover their undergarments will make them feel comfortable and at ease while carrying out the assessment. Showing a calm and friendly demeanor can also help to enhance cooperation from the child (Hockenberry & Wilson, 2018). Depending on the child’s assessment, the nurse should be able to identify any emotional distress from the child. The assessment will also be able to link whether the psychological issues affecting the child has an impact on the overall development and performance of that child.


Cherry, K. (2018). Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development. Retrieved June5, 2018.

De Onis, M. (2017). Child growth and development. In Nutrition and Health in a Developing World (pp. 119-141). Humana Press, Cham.

Hockenberry, M. J., & Wilson, D. (2018). Wong’s nursing care of infants and children-E-book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Varghese, S., & Susmitha, A. (2015). Textbook of Pediatric Nursing.

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Describe the different physical characteristics findings within the school aged child

School-aged children (between 6-12 years old) typically display a range of physical characteristics that are unique to this age group. Here are some of the common physical characteristics of school-aged children:

  1. Height and Weight: The average height for a school-aged child is around 3.5 feet to 5 feet (106-152 cm) and the average weight is around 50-90 pounds (22-41 kg). However, there can be a significant variation in height and weight between individual children depending on factors such as genetics, nutrition, and overall health.
  2. Body Proportions: By this age, children have generally lost the “baby fat” and their body proportions start to resemble those of adults. Their limbs become longer and their torsos become narrower, giving them a more streamlined appearance.
  3. Muscle Tone: As children continue to grow and develop, their muscle tone improves, allowing them to be more coordinated and agile. This is an important developmental milestone as it supports physical activity and allows children to engage in sports and other physical activities.
  4. Teeth: School-aged children typically have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth. It’s important for parents to ensure that their children are practicing good oral hygiene to prevent cavities and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
  5. Vision: School-aged children may start to experience vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It’s important for parents to have their children’s vision checked regularly to detect any issues and address them early.
  6. Puberty: Around the age of 8-11 years old, some children will start to experience the early stages of puberty. This can include the development of breasts in girls and testicles in boys, as well as the growth of pubic and underarm hair.

Overall, school-aged children go through many physical changes and milestones as they grow and develop. It’s important for parents to provide a healthy and supportive environment to help their children thrive.

Psychosocial development of school age child

Psychosocial development refers to the social and emotional changes that occur in a child as they grow and develop. School-aged children (between 6-12 years old) experience significant psychosocial development, which is characterized by the following stages:

  1. Industry vs. Inferiority (Age 6-12 years): According to Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, school-aged children experience the industry vs. inferiority stage. This stage is characterized by a focus on mastering skills and achieving success. Children at this stage are developing a sense of competence and feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments. They also begin to compare themselves to others and may experience feelings of inferiority if they feel they are not measuring up.
  2. Peer Relationships: School-aged children develop close relationships with their peers and learn important social skills such as sharing, cooperation, and conflict resolution. They begin to form social groups and may experience peer pressure to conform to certain norms and behaviors.
  3. Self-Concept: School-aged children develop a sense of self-concept, which includes their self-esteem, self-image, and self-worth. They begin to understand their strengths and weaknesses and may compare themselves to others. They also start to develop a sense of their own identity, which is influenced by their culture, family, and social environment.
  4. Moral Development: School-aged children begin to develop a sense of right and wrong and may experience guilt or shame if they break rules or behave inappropriately. They start to understand the importance of following rules and may also begin to question authority and rules that they feel are unfair.

Overall, school-aged children experience significant psychosocial development as they navigate the challenges of mastering skills, forming relationships with peers, developing a sense of self, and understanding moral and ethical concepts. Parents and caregivers can support their children’s psychosocial development by providing a safe and supportive environment, encouraging positive behavior, and promoting healthy social relationships.

Compare the physical assessment of a child to that of an adult

The physical assessment of a child is different from that of an adult due to the differences in their anatomy, physiology, and developmental stages. Here are some of the key differences between the physical assessment of a child and an adult:

  1. Age and Developmental Stage: Children’s anatomy and physiology are still developing, and their bodies may have different proportions compared to adults. Therefore, it’s important to take the child’s age and developmental stage into account when performing a physical assessment.
  2. Positioning: Children may need to be positioned differently for certain assessments. For example, the head of a young child may need to be supported during a respiratory assessment to ensure accurate results.
  3. Communication: Children may have limited communication skills, especially at a young age. Healthcare providers may need to use age-appropriate communication techniques such as play or distraction to put the child at ease and obtain accurate information.
  4. Vital Signs: Vital signs in children are generally faster than in adults, and normal ranges may vary depending on the child’s age. For example, a normal heart rate for an adult is around 60-100 beats per minute, while a normal heart rate for a newborn is around 120-160 beats per minute.
  5. Assessment Tools: Some assessment tools, such as blood pressure cuffs or stethoscopes, may need to be adjusted or modified for use on children due to their smaller size.
  6. Emotional Considerations: Children may experience fear or anxiety during a physical assessment, especially if they have had negative experiences in the past. Healthcare providers should take steps to minimize stress and anxiety, such as explaining procedures in age-appropriate language or allowing a parent or caregiver to be present during the assessment.
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