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Semin Perioper Nurs. 1994 Jul;3(3):152-9.

Pediatric patient education for the operating room staff: the "Barney phenomenon".


The single most important determinant of a child's ability to learn is the child's readiness to accept the information and incorporate it into his frame of reference. To be an effective educator of children, the nurse must understand the following: (1) the child's developmental stage, (2) the tasks and fears associated with that stage, and (3) the ability of the child to understand the concepts being taught. Before teaching can begin, fears and anxieties must be overcome. Each developmental stage, from birth through adolescence is examined from the perspective of the perioperative nurse conducting a teaching program for children and their parents. Guidelines and suggestions for age-appropriate activities to reduce anxiety and teaching methods are emphasized.

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