Journal of Professional Nursing

The Child in Isolation: Treatment or Abuse? 

Veronica Casey, RCpN, ADN, Dunedin Hospital 

Reference:  Casey, V. (1989). The Child in Isolation: Treatment or Abuse? Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 5(1), 19-23.


Little can be found in the literature of the effects on children of being nursed in protective or infectious isolation.  However, there is an abundance of reports on the need for children to be nursed in a relaxed, colourful environment with familiar noises, access to play and freedom of movement.  Relaxation of the hospital environment has taken place to varying degrees, yet in contrast isolation units tend to be cold and stark.  This paper examines the needs of children in hospital relates these needs to those children who require care in an isolation unit.  It examines, through a personal study, the effects of isolation on children parents and nursing staff and makes some suggestions for change which can be easily implemented. 

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