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Development Through the Lifespan, Essay Example

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Essay

Nursing is based on the health and development of the patient in its entirety. First and foremost, a nurse needs to understand the developmental stages of their patient to determine if their growth/development patterns are normal or if there could be an underlying condition or cause for their complaints. Secondly, understanding the mindset of the patient and developmental stage can assist with determining their understanding, ability to comprehend and follow medical instructions. Thirdly, educating the patient is directly related to and affected by the individual’s cognitive level. This will help the nurse make appropriate resources available and also understand issues such as grief, disability or other life changes that the patient may be dealing with. Fourthly, the nurse would be better able to assess and plan treatment and interventions based on their identity formation and their own life. This may encompass their beliefs or feelings about death, disease or illness, as well as their acceptance of the situation.

Peer teaching is extremely important as it gives individuals the ability to learn from others and maybe share knowledge that will improve their career and overall career.

Both genetics and environmental factors are present in the development of a child. According to the nature concept, individuals are born with innate abilities to perceive and interact with the world around them. On the flip side, the environmental concept suggests that individuals are a product of their environment and learn accordingly. Both theories take into account cognitive functioning, behavior and social learning. Today, it is more understood that the issue is likely not black or white and that the child is influenced by both concepts. Children learn from their parents;  language is a good example of how people learn from those around them. Genetics however does play a large role in the ability to learn, acquisition and other cognitive functions. The pediatric nurse will benefit by understanding that children are greatly influenced by both schools of thoughts and be able to determine the appropriate treatment and interaction with the parent and their child.

Intelligence

The benefits of adoption could be explained as the ability to raise a child that may not otherwise have a good home, and the joy that the child can bring regardless of the fact that the patient is not the biological parents. The negatives of adoption are the expense of the process and the potential for a long wait or disappointment. The patient needs to understand that her husband’s reaction was that of hurt and possibly shame because of his inability to have children.  They should enter into family counseling and discuss the possibilities further when they have had time to consider their options.

The zygote is the first cell that is created through fertilization of the egg by the sperm. After the zygote divides through mitosis, it becomes an embryo, or a multicellular organism that is carried in the mother’s womb.  The fetal stages are constantly changing, however are considered primitive until about the 3rd week when the central nervous system begins to develop, this is also when the baby’s heart begins to beat. At 8 weeks the major organs begin to develop and if male, masculine development begins. Between 14 and 16 weeks the brain is developed so that the baby can swallow and perform irregular breathing on its own. At 28 weeks, the baby can survive if born early and their lungs are capable of breathing without the support of the mother.

Drinking alcohol in the first trimester can result in both mental and physical defects for the baby. There is a risk of fetal alcohol syndrome which can lead to damaged organs, mental retardation, stunted growth and learning abilities, as well as a range of other birth defects. Smoking during the first trimester increases the chances of miscarriage, causes decreased birth weight, SIDS, pre-term labor and still births. I would recommend to the patient that they cease alcohol and smoking during pregnancy or at minimum greatly reduce these behaviors.

The baby being born at 5lbs is considered to have low birth weight; because the weight falls below the 5lbs 8oz rule for low birth weight. This would be classified as small for date. The low birth weight increases the chances of health problems such as learning difficulties, mental retardation, vision and hearing problems. To improve the baby’s health, the mother’s health should be maintained, including all conditions treated, smoking cessation, encouraged prenatal care and possible introduction of hormones for the mother.

A newborn baby can of course cry to get the attention of their caregivers to  meet their needs; they can also suck, swallow, blink, hiccup, grasp,  have step/walking reflex, startle reflexes, tonic neck reflex, trembling and jitteriness. Reflexes that continue to be present after six months can be due to neurological problems such as cerebral palsy or physical problems.

The noted mistake is because the head circumference is generally about 2cm larger than that of the chest. The measurements are likely recorded backwards since there is 2 cm difference between the two and the chest is recorded as larger. At six months the infant would most likely weigh between 12 and 19lbs for a female at the 50-90 percentile range. At one year the baby would likely weigh about 21lbs, which is three times her birth weight. At two years her weight would be approximately 17 to 26lbs and height range of 27.6 to 31.5inches. The reason for reviewing the child’s race is because there is a difference between the growth and rate of maturity between Hispanics, whites and blacks, as well as Chinese American and Japanese American. These differences could make a difference when comparing these children on the same growth chart.

By the age of 2 the child’s brain is about 80% of the size of adults. The two major cells are the neurons and glial cells. Myelination occurs at the most rapid during the first two years of a child’s life and is the production of the myelin sheath. This process is responsible for neurodevelopment, which allows for the communication or impulses between cell membranes and within the brain. It is important to learning because of the communication and process of the central nervous system and its role in allowing the quick carry of messages through the synapse. The Myelin has been said to increase cognitive ability, however the exact reason is not known.

Synaptic pruning is important because it allows individuals to comprehend and understand in a more complex manner. This is carried out through the removal of neuron structures that are not necessary, may have been damaged or are not working correctly. This can especially be seen in the difference between children and young adults that have the ability to reason and understand at a higher level.

Children that have not been nurtured can suffer emotionally and physiologically. Children that are maltreated or neglected can suffer damage to major areas of the brain such as the hippocampus, cortex or amygdala. This leads to their ability to learn, have rational thinking, memories as well as emotional control. This happens partially because the brain is always pruning and works on a “use it or lose it” method that causes loss or damage that is sometimes lost for good. Children learn by those around them and the connections in the brain are based on social response to their caregivers, when this is absent the child will likely have a host of mental and physical disabilities or deficits.

Children that are from low socio-economic status families can benefit from the social interaction, increased learning and toys/manipulative that are found in preschool. They may not otherwise have access to the social or educational opportunities at home, which decreases their learning and overall development.

The major difference between classical and operant conditioning is the manner by which the individual/organism learns. Classical is based on the involuntary or automatic behaviors associated with learning, while operant conditioning focuses on reinforcements to strengthen or weaken the individual/organism behaviors. An example of classical conditioning is a child that learns that hitting a home run causes cheering from the crowd. They quickly associate the hitting of the ball with a positive experience and learn that to gain that appreciation, they must continue. An example of operant conditioning is a child playing a video game; they learn to change their behavior as they receive feedback and progression from the game. They learn by trial and error through a system of rewards (progression in the game) and punishment (avoidance of game ending).

Children learn through interacting with their parents and other adults. They associate positive experiences and learning with fun times and their own social structure. This happens because the child is learning and also sharing experiences of appreciation with their parents. When parents are resistant, they may stunt the child’s emotional development and send the message that they are not worthy of the parents time or learning experiences, therefore teaching them how to feel about themselves, learning and the relationship with their parents in general.

According to the Piagetian theory, learning is a structural progression and focuses more on development rather than learning.  The learner progresses through the sensorimotor, preoperation, concrete and formal operations during the learning process. The informational processing theory is more likened to that of the stages that a computer goes through to perform a function. It does not agree that the formal stages are set, because the stages are changing based on the “user” and context or information. The Piagetian theory is useful because it explains how a child moves from one operation or stage to another and also why or how they may have a lapse in learning. For example, if they are progressing slowly it could be because of a push or great demand, which has hindered that stage of progress.

After a child has learned to add, they then use the process of assimilation to change the information or process to make sense of the new material. They first understand the addition and now are using that knowledge to process and learn multiplication. Disequilibrium occurs when the child realizes that they must think or find a new way to work the multiplication problem in reference to what they already know to be true with addition. The two problems are different and the child is realizing that they must process or rethink their method of solving the problem in order to complete it correctly. Accommodation occurs as the child is learning that there are different ways to solve problems rather than adding them, which is their current frame of reference. They are then faced with and must move away from what they know or believe to be true in order to learn multiplication.

According to the theory, children would best learn to trust by having caregivers that foster trust, confidence and security in the child through their parental relationship. This happens through appropriate interaction, decreased negative attention such as insecurities or mistrust. A nurturing relationship that is loving and positive will likely help a child develop a trust for others and understand that they are not likely to be hurt. In order to build autonomy, the parent must help the child become independent and confident in their actions and decisions. This can be fostered through the parent encouraging the child to make decisions and not be overly controlling. As the child makes their own decisions they will likely become more confident and realize that they are able to be independent and autonomous. External sources such as mentoring or school groups, teachers or other family members can help a child develop trust and resiliency through showing them love. This helps build a mutual trust and allows the child to realize that their home life may not be the “normal” way to live.

Caregivers that are caring, nurturing, able to regulate their own emotions, and tend to the child’s needs are most likely to develop a secure attachment relationship. They must be able to foster the needs of the child, without damage or inflicting their own emotional shortcomings. The attachment relationship is fostered by both the caregiver and the child, the infants temperament is directly related to the ability to develop a secure attachment. Co-sleeping may foster the attachment because of the close proximity of the infant to the parent, as well as encourage their need to be safe and secure. The touch and bonding that occurs during close encounters gives the infant a sense of security and also assists them in the understanding that they are loved. The risks of course with co-sleeping arrangements are the worries of suffocation to the infant. Mothers that have their infant close may rest better knowing that their child is near, as well as also stimulate their hormones with the touch of the baby as well as closeness.

Works Cited

Berk, Laura E. Development through the Lifespan 4th ed. Needham Heights; Allyn and Bacon, 2007. Print

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