Developmental Assessment 1
Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child
Joseph A. DePolo
Grand Canyon University: NRS-434VN
April 07, 2019
A nursing assessment must be comprehensive and focus on specific developmental assessments that are appropriate for the child’s age, developmental phase, and needs. The nursing assessment provides opportunities to identify illnesses or conditions and time to educate patients and families about the body and its growth and development. Physical development and growth typically correlates to genetic background, nutritional status and may indicate if a child’s health and well-being are at risk. For nurses to properly assess their patients, an understanding of the different stages of development and tasks to be accomplished in each stage are crucial. Assessment of growth and development focuses on physical, cognitive, social and emotional millstones. When comparing children between the ages of five and twelve we see an enormous amount of developmental and physical change from one year to the next.
A child entering grade school is five years old; this specific age group is classified by Erickson as functioning within the Psychosocial Stage of Industry vs. Inferiority. During this time, children begin to develop a sense of pride and self-esteem. If they are encouraged by family and teachers they develop self-esteem and belief in one’s self, if they are not given emotional support they may end up doubting themselves, and finding balance at this stage leads to competence. If the development of specific skill they feel the world deems important, then they may develop a sense of inferiority. At the same time, failure is needed for development of modesty and the balance between competence and modesty is needed for successful completion of this stage and the virtue of competence.
Nurses must learn and adapt our assessments to the developmental level of the patient changing our approach and even the way we speak. With the youngest of this group, the five year old, we want to encourage parents to be present and help with care as much as possible; this is still an age when distraction is the nurse’s friend. Offering choices helps the child feel empowered while helping the assessment process at the same time. Respiratory muscles used are exclusively abdominal or diaphragmatic, as opposed to thoracic, as in older children. As the child progresses past five, this is a time when letting down caregivers and family can be a major stressor, and lending a hand helps the child feel useful and valued so giving them responsibilities when applicable helps everybody. Thinking becomes more logical and as children age they are able to understand cause and effect more easily. Encourage participation in discussions, making decisions, and expression of feelings and concerns. The ability to pay attention and concentrate is an important millstone, six year olds are typically able to focus on tasks for fifteen minutes and use...