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    • #33253

      Share with me your tips and tricks for engaging young men…I really struggle with this teenage population getting them to participate in the conversation. Drives me crazy when they are looking at their phone the whole visit and not really responding to questions, feel equally crazed by parents who don’t encourage their children to participate in the conversation. I primarily work in the adult space and don’t have this issue with my population but do come over to the children’s hospital to see consults when needed. Would love to hear from those of you who are primarily pediatrics. Tell me what to do!

    • #33254

      This is a great question and I think we all have had a struggle with this in one way or another. Because I am female identifying, I think that sometimes I am not the best person to engage with a male on this topic comfort-wise, but we all do our best being that most of the staff at my hospital are women.

      One, asking them to put away the phone or turn it off altogether might help, though I know that is easier said than done.

      I also try to take some time to make the conversation light and prep them well that this may feel weird or awkward to talk about, but it is a safe space and there are no stupid questions. From there you are always just going to do the best you can!

      With parents, it is challenging because some just love to hover and don’t think about how THEY would feel in this situation. I know at any age, I would have wanted to participate and know what might happen with my own body. I think you educate the best you can while respecting the family’s specific dynamic and needs.

      Great discussion idea Katherine! I would love to hear from everyone about this as well.

    • #33380

      Hi Katherine,
      I am a bedside nurse in an inpatient pediatric oncology unit. There have been a few instances where I help to provide sperm banking education to parents/patients and I also help coordinate the timing of specimen collection with parent’s delivery of the specimen. As Rachel commented above, I feel it’s really important to acknowledge/validate their teenage feelings (e.g. that this situation sucks, can be uncomfortable to talk about with others). After that, I remind them how important it is to be present in the conversation. With teenagers, I think it’s also important to save certain assessment questions for a time that a parent is not at the bedside (if at all possible). For example, some teens will change their responses if they know a parent is just outside the door, or may fear that their parents will begin to interrogate after the clinician leaves.

    • #33403

      Yes Michelle good point!! Having a parent not present at all or waiting until they go to the cafeteria or take a break is a great idea. Creating a safe space is most important.

    • #33428

      I agree this can be such a challenge!  I don’t see any boys/men under 18 but depending on their emotional maturity, it can feel like they are teenagers at times.  As stated in the lecture, it is hard for a young man who may not have ever even had a girlfriend to think about wanting children.  With my younger men (18-22) I have to meet with to talk about sperm-banking, I try to at least incorporate some bit of humor just to let them know I am not uncomfortable or uptight talking about the issue which I think can ease the tension a little bit.  I know it is a serious subject, but I still think a little humor is okay.  I also tell them in the beginning of the conversation, I need to talk to you about something that can be very private and personal, do you want your mom or dad to step out for a minute so we can talk?  That usually also lets them know I am completely comfortable talking about it with them as a “stranger”, but they may not want their parents in the room.  I only work with over 18 so consent is not an issue.

    • #33642

      Hi there, when it comes to engaging teens who do not participate, sometimes it’s helpful to engage in rapport building and open the session up with a game – getting to know you Jenga, emotions uno, or even just a fun game to make the setting a little more comfortable. I think it’s also important to set the rules/expectations as the meeting starts. Introduce yourself, your role, confidentiality & then explain the purpose of the meeting. When explaining the purpose you can normalize feelings & share that it is important electronics are put away & educate them on the benefits & importance of participation!

    • #33711

      I am curious if there are any recommended video-type resources that others have used to explain options to boys?  I am wondering if they watch something first and then have an in-person follow-up would put the boy more at ease in discussing the information that they just saw.

      I am guessing that these conversations may just take many of these young boys by surprise– certainly not on their radar.  I wonder if it would just give them more time to process and help them to be ready to ask more questions.  What I have found is there is just so much going on with a new diagnosis that there is a “I can’t deal with this right now” attiitude which affects decision-making.  My second question is…Do others have some tips on timing of these conversations given all the other new information they may be receiving around the same time?


    • #33769

      i agree completely regarding the use of rapport building conversation at the start of these encounters. in our busy clinical settings, it can seem challenging to find the time. but in my experience, taking 5-10 minutes to get to know the patient, especially who they are apart from their recent cancer diagnosis, pays off tremendously in the long run. skills that were emphasized in the modules, such as reflective listening and validation, can go a long way in establishing a trusting, therapeutic relationship – and a foundation upon which to have these personal and sometimes challenging conversations.

      i work in a pediatric hospital and am often navigating the role of parents for both pediatric and adult patients. an additional question i like to explore with patients is their preferences for ongoing conversation with their parents (ie are they okay talking about the content of our individual session with their parents, do they prefer to be the one to bring it up, would they prefer to talk to one of their parents individually +/- having a clinician present to help facilitate, etc.).

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