Helen is 15 years old. According to Erickson’s psychosocial stages of development, she would be considered to be in the Identity vs. Role Confusion stage. This stage occurs in during adolescence in which the individual searches for a sense of who they are, getting to know themselves and develop a personal identity. The individual is able to do this by looking into their own personal values, beliefs, and goals. The mind of the adolescent in this stage is in a stage somewhere between the childhood stage that they are coming out of and the adulthood stage that they are to be working their way towards. They must work through the morality that they are taught in childhood and the ethics that they should be developing as an adult (McLeod, 2017). The end result of this stage of psychosocial development should be the person’s development of a set of life skills and abilities that function well together. Erickson focused, in this stage, on how individuals in this stage socialize and the affects it has on their sense of self (McLeod, 2017).
Client’s Stage of Pregnancy
According to Women’s Health (2017), Helen is in the first trimester of her pregnancy. This stage of pregnancy is from conception to the end of week 12. The woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes in the first trimester, starting with the hormonal changes. The increase in hormones tends to trigger all of the main symptoms the pregnancy woman experiences, even in the very early stages of the pregnancy. Some of the symptoms that may be experienced in this stage include fatigue; tender, swollen breasts; cravings or distaste for certain foods; increased frequency in urination; weight gain or loss; nausea; and vomiting just to name a few (Women’s Health, 2017). Since Helen is at 12 weeks gestation, she is right on the line of the first and second trimesters and may be experiencing some of the second trimester symptoms which may include body aches, stretch marks, darkening of the skin around the nipples of the breasts, swelling in the hands, feet, and possibly the face, and numbness or tingling in the hands noted to be carpal tunnel syndrome (Women’s Health, 2017).
Readiness to Learn
In working with Helen, it is important to understand that her age is going to greatly impact her readiness to learn. In adolescence, the patient is generally going to go to his/her peers for support. The case study does note her friends are supporting her through her breakup, however, there is no mention of their support of the pregnancy. The teaching that is provided to her should focus on the details specific to the pregnancy. Due to her age, she may also have some fears or concerns related to the pregnancy. If there are notable concerns, this will likely also impact her readiness to take in information being provided to her. One additional factor that is likely to impact her readiness to learn is that she is no longer with the father of her child. She may be preoccupied with the breakup at this time and the fact that she is no longer with him and that may cause her to block out information related to the baby.
Two Priority Health Education Needs: Cognitive Domain
Helen has already started on the right path by going to a prenatal appointment. It is imperative that she understands the importance of continuing to go to her prenatal appointments in order to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery of a healthy baby. One of the priority health education needs for Helen will include teaching her about the changes that she can expect to go through with her body. She may have already experienced some of these changes already, however, she will continue to go through changes to her body that may affect her body image. In adolescence, body image is often a tender subject for the individual, so it needs to be explained that these changes are normal and to be expected. These changes may include breast growth and changes in the skin (KidsHealth, 2017).
The second priority health need for Helen is education on taking care of herself throughout this pregnancy. It is to be noted that children, especially in adolescence often don’t get the nutrition that they need. In pregnancy, it is important that the mother get the necessary nutrition not only for themselves but also for their unborn child. She needs to be provided education on the importance of a diet rich in health foods with an increase in water intake and a decrease in high-fat and junk foods. In addition to a healthy diet, it is important that Helen exercise. She can continue to participate in whatever activities she was doing prior to her pregnancy, as long as the pregnancy is not deemed to be high-risk. Helen will also need to ensure that she gets enough sleep, as she may often feel tired. She also needs education on the importance of not engaging in risky behaviors such as smoking or consuming alcohol or unprotected intercourse (KidsHealth, 2017).
Two Priority Health Education Needs: Affective Domain
Helen is in the adolescent stage of development and will require extensive education related to the affective domain. The number one priority health education need that she has at this time is the need for emotional support through the duration of her pregnancy. Not only is she going to experience significant changes as a result of the pregnancy and birth of her child but she is most likely experiencing some emotions related to the breakup with her boyfriend/father of her child. The support she is receiving from her friends is good, however she also need emotional support from her family as she is still living at home and these are the best people to provide for that support.
Helen will also need education geared towards any fears that she may related to the birth process and raising her child. This will be important so that she knows what to expect during the birth process and is able to put in place a birth plan that will be take into consideration her expectations. In addition to birth, any fears she has of raising her child will also need to be addressed, so that she can receive the necessary education related to basic childcare prior to the baby’s birth.
Appropriate Educational Content
Helen will require extensive education in order to cope with this pregnancy and be successful with raising her child. KidsHealth (2017) provides significant information related to the health and well-being of the pregnant teen. This education includes prenatal care, taking care of yourself in pregnancy, pregnancy timelines, changes in the body that are to be expected, behaviors to avoid, vaccines, emotional health, and school and the future. It will be important that Helen is provided with as much information as possible so that she is equipped to handle this pregnancy and be successful through it and once the baby is born.
Two Teaching Strategies
The teaching strategies that will be most effective to provide Helen with the information necessary for a successful pregnancy include the use of audiovisual sources that may provide her video representation of what she may experience. Additionally, it would be of the utmost importance to introduce Helen to a support group where she can get information related to her pregnancy and support from her peers who are also experiencing teenage pregnancy. Often times the emotional support, although provided by her family, may be more effective when provided by her peers who are going through the same experience as her.
Why those Teaching Strategies?
Being only 15, Helen is better able to understand concepts when they are presented in an audiovisual format. This allows the adolescent to see and hear a representation of the concepts rather than just reading them and trying to understand the best way for them to be put in to practice. Support groups are also a good way to provide for Helen’s education needs, as she is going to need to have a source of support through this. It is noted that support is something that an adolescent needs a significant amount of throughout the course of any big life changing situation. Having the support of her family and friends may not be enough, as they may not be able to relate to what she is going through. This is where a support group comes in to play, as they will be able to provide support based being in the same situation.
- KidsHealth. (2017). Having a Healthy Pregnancy. KidsHealth.org. Retrieved from: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/pregnancy.html#
- McLeod, S. (2017). Developmental Psychology: Erik Erickson. Retrieved from: https://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html
- Women’s Health. (2017). Stages of Pregnancy. Women’sHealth.org. Retrieved from: https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/youre-pregnant-now-what/stages-pregnancy