Assignment: Stages of Development
Parents, educators, and health care providers optimize child development based on the information they have about a particular child. Since child development is multidimensional, the assessment should be broad and examine both typical and special needs as much as possible. A thorough evaluation should provide adequate information for supporting the child in all the deserved ways. This paper describes physical assessments and their modifications based on the needs of an eight-year-old girl while applying Piaget’s theory of development.
Physical assessments to obtain data vary with age. The modes of evaluation are also dynamic since the needs of five-year-old and twelve-year-old children differ profoundly. Also, their cooperation in the assessment is different. Growth charts are a reference point when physically observing a child. A health care provider can compare the details in a growth chart with the child’s visible state and make verifiable inferences. The observation method is also reliable. Here, a health care provider interacts with the child and makes deductions based on the child’s conduct. Standardized tests can also be used, although for children somewhat advanced in age and without special needs.
Since the assessment approaches cannot be effective if used universally, modification is necessary to match the age and developmental stage. For instance, if a health care provider was assessing a child using a standardized test, the best way to engage a five-year-old is to read out the questions and write answers for them. In the case of observations, children can be placed in an environment where they can move around, play, and interact with peers as their behavior and visible health problems get recorded. Engaging parents and interpreters can also be considered modification since it eases collecting information and ensures that data is not collected and interpreted based on perceptions.
Choosing a Child
Health and developmental problems are typical in children. According to Moore et al. (2015), children’s developmental issues stem from the environment, access to health resources, and genetics, among other factors. Deborah, an eight-year-old girl, was born normally at thirty-eight weeks. She was not breastfed exclusively since her mother was supposed to travel back to Qatar due to job demands. As a result, the girl was left under the care of a nun as early as four months. Due to some inattention, Deborah was hospitalized for severe malnutrition when she was one-year-old, an issue thought to have contributed a lot to her developmental delays.
The typical development stages at her age include the concrete operational stage (ages 7 to 11) under Piaget’s stage of development. She is also in the industry vs. inferiority stage of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. At the concrete operational stage, the social world expands, and children begin to take pride in their accomplishments as they interact with peers (Börnert-Ringleb & Wilbert, 2018). Important events at this stage include attending school, growth in confidence, and a high rate of physical growth and cognition.
The most fitting theory in this scenario is Piaget’s stages of development. According to Piaget, children develop in four stages that follow each other: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational stages (Raeff, 2020). Deborah fits the concrete operational stage. To developmentally assess the child, the central focus should be their understanding of logic. Children are relatively good at using inductive reasoning in the concrete operational stage (Overton et al., 2015). They can understand reversibility and conservation. A suitable way of assessing whether Deborah has a developmental problem is cutting two candy bars of the same size into different pieces. One can be cut into two pieces and the other into four. The girl should know that both sizes are equal despite different pieces. I would offer explanations during the assessment through illustrations and active engagement. Active listening and engaging the child would help to gain cooperation. Potential findings include the child’s ability to apply inductive reasoning, awareness of external events, and expression of feelings.
In conclusion, the development assessment helps to obtain the necessary data about growth and development. It is a suitable reference of what needs to be done depending on the child’s physical, cognitive, and social-emotional needs. Deborah’s assessment can help identify mental and physical health problems and the interventions necessary depending on the severity of her problems. Active engagement is essential to ensure that the child cooperates to give as much information as possible.
Börnert-Ringleb, M., & Wilbert, J. (2018, May). The association of strategy use and concrete-operational thinking in primary school. In Frontiers in Education (Vol. 3, p. 38). Frontiers. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2018.00038
Moore, T. G., McDonald, M., Carlon, L., & O’Rourke, K. (2015). Early childhood development and the social determinants of health inequities. Health promotion international, 30(suppl_2), ii102-ii115. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dav031
Overton, W. F., Molenaar, P., & Lerner, R. M. (2015). Handbook of child psychology and developmental science: Theory and method, Vol. 1. John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
Raeff, C. (2020). Exploring the complexities of human action. Oxford University Press.
Compare the physical assessment of a child to that of an adult. In addition to describing the similar/different aspects of the physical assessment, explain how the nurse would offer instruction during the assessment, how communication would be adapted to offer explanations, and what strategies the nurse would use to encourage engagement.
Physical assessment of the child and that of an adult is done similarly yet differently. The act of auscultation, palpation, taking the vital signs to get the objective data are done the same but the normal range limits are different. For example, the healthy adult blood pressure normal range is from 90/60 mmHg – 120/80 mmHg, pulse rate 60-100 beats per minute and temperature of 97.8 ‘F to 98.6″F whereas to a 1-11-year-old child has a heart rate of 70-120 bpm, blood pressure of 90-110 systolic and 55-75 diastolic.
In using Erikson’s theory, an adult’s stage of development is focused on the fear of loneliness if there is no long-lasting relationship and adult contemplates their contribution to society with their achievements or lack of, and for a school-aged child, the focus is more on establishing trust and self-esteem (Grand Canyon University, 2018).
Communication and approach with these two different age groups also differ. A caring and comfortable environment is needed for a school-aged child in order to extend their trust from their parents to the healthcare provider. The questions are also formulated so that the child is able to answer. Whereas for the adult, a more factual and straightforward questioning is done. Utilizing the evidence-based practice tools provided to the health care team, a thorough and effective assessment is done to promote health and have an effective nursing process.
Grand Canyon University (Ed). (2018). Health assessment: Foundations for effective practice. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs434vn/health-assessment-foundations-for-effective-practice/v1.1/
Medline Plus. Retrieved from: Vital signs: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia