Physical Assessments Among School-Aged Children

Topic: Pediatrics
Words: 660 Pages: 2


Physical assessment allows the medical worker to understand whether the child has reached significant milestones in physical and moral development. The abilities and skills of children vary significantly by age, and the criteria should also be age-appropriate. The medical worker must know the evaluation criteria, effective methods, and ways of conducting the evaluation. This knowledge will help nurses recognize deviations from the child’s expected development.

Comparing Assessments, Possible Modifications

Physical assessment should consider different methods appropriate to the child’s age. The most successful method is developmental assessment, based on describing skills and abilities that a child should achieve by a certain age. Jean Piaget identified four stages of children’s cognitive development: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete-operational, and formal-operational (Babakr et al., 2019). Erik Erikson identifies children’s development stages based on their attitude toward the world around them (Maree, 2021). Eight stages of personality development are distinguished, beginning to develop from a conflict between trust and distrust and characterized by self-identification (Maree, 2021). Lawrence Kohlberg developed the theory describing six stages of development where the child solves emerging moral dilemmas in different ways (Wahidah & Maemonah, 2020). I believe the most complete theory is Piaget’s since the child’s development is assessed by the correlation of the physical and moral state. To complement the assessment system, I would expand the method to include a child self-identification questionnaire applicable to the age of 5-12 years.

Typical Developmental Stages: Developmentally Assessing the Child

Mike is seven years old, has no mental or physical health problems, has an average academic record, is interested in math, and plays football. Mike is at the stage of the concrete-operational period; he knows how to use symbols and understand them logically (Babakr et al., 2019). However, Mike is not yet capable of generalization, as he is just entering this stage of development (Babakr et al., 2019). A 7-year-old child has a heightened imagination; he uses his native language well and understands temporal relationships. For Mike, his parents are an authority; acceptance and recognition from them are vital to him.

Explanations, Strategies, and Potential Findings

Establishing a trusting relationship to build cooperation with a child is critical. For nurse-child cooperation to be practical, a strategy must be implemented to ensure that the child is heard and acknowledged. It is significant for children aged 5-12 to understand their importance and that their voices are important. In addition, it is crucial to ensure that the child understands the criteria for evaluation and why it is needed. Explanations during the assessment should be given for each question in simple and understandable language for the child. The primary method is a clinical conversation based on Piaget’s criteria. For example, the ability to generalize can be assessed by asking the child to solve two simple problems in different settings. The ability to think spatially can be measured by the child’s capacity to think detached from their personality. The nurse can ask the child to write a story on behalf of the pet or a specific subject.

An important part can be a self-questionnaire, where the child will independently assess their competencies. According to the questionnaire, the nurse can determine the degree of self-identification, self-esteem, and connection with reality, while the child’s opinion will be considered. It is necessary to observe how children behave during the conversation: whether they are able to control emotions and adequately reason about themselves. Mike is expected to demonstrate adequate self-esteem without over- or underestimating his abilities. The presence of the ability to spatial thinking and developed imagination is expected.


The physical assessment of the child’s development is an essential criterion for understanding the correctness of personality formation. Piaget’s theory is the most straightforward and appropriate method, dividing developmental stages into four specific phases. Establishing contact with the child requires active listening based on demonstrating respect and acceptance of the person. To expand the diagnostic criteria, it is proposed to use a self-questionnaire for an additional assessment of self-esteem and perception.


Babakr, Z., Mohamedamin, P., & Kakamad, K. (2019). Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory: Critical review. Education Quarterly Reviews, 2(3), 517-524.

Maree, J. G. (2021). The psychosocial development theory of Erik Erikson: critical overview. Early Child Development and Care, 191(7-8), 1107-1121.

Wahidah, A. F. N. M., & Maemonah, M. (2020). Moral Thought of Early Childhood in Perspective Lawrence Kohlberg. Golden Age: Jurnal Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini, 4(1), 28-37.

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