Paediatric nurses are nurses who specialize in providing care to children from infancy till adolescent period. To become a paediatric nurse, you should possess intense knowledge of child growth and development pattern. Since their bodies are growing and changing, their response to disease process and treatment regimen might vary in comparison to adults.
Types of paediatric nursing
The types of paediatric nurses that you should be knowing are:
- Neonatal nurses who take care of new born to 28 days old baby
- Paediatric nurses who take care of children aged 28 days to 18years
- Palliative care paediatric nurses who take care of children with life threatening illness
Roles and responsibilities of a paediatric nurse
Paediatric nurses works with a multi-disciplinary team and with other health care professionals. They prioritize in delivering the finest therapeutic care possible for children. They also perform an important role in monitoring the health and providing care and support to the children and their families.
The typical responsibilities of a paediatric nurse is:
- Assessing the needs of child and family
- Monitoring, recording and reporting of the vital signs
- Routine head to toe assessment and documentation
- Calculation of paediatric dosage for injections and medications
- Administering of medications, injections and fluids as per doctor’s instructions
- Monitoring child’s intake and output
- Sample collection and sending routine investigations
- Monitoring diet and nutritional needs of the child
- Obtaining parental consent for treatment
- Assisting in bed-side procedures with the doctors
- Identifying child’s risk for complications
- Following the treatment plan
- Consultation and coordination with other healthcare team professionals
- Handling and managing code blue status
- Caring of pre and post-operative child
- Performing NALS & PALS protocols
- Providing information, emotional support and comfort to children, parents and relatives
- Always checking on the condition of child
- dealing with paediatrics emergencies
Qualities of a paediatric nurse
Paediatric nurses should be friendly, cheerful and always smiling. They should have interest and love for children and willingness to adapt to their environment. It’s necessary for a paediatric nurse to have command over her observation and actions as children don’t have a well-developed mechanism to express their feelings. They need to be keen on observation and highly responsive in case of any changes in the child’s health. There may be situations that might be challenging and stressful. Paediatric nurses should possess excellent communication skills to take care of children and their families in such situations. They need to be organised and should have ability to prioritise efficiently. The work of paediatric nurses can be challenging and thus demands resilience and endurance. Therefore, it is essential to use sound judgement and decide on the best plan of treatment for children. Taking care of children is quite different from managing the adults as you need to be very observant and have the skills of paying attention to every minute details.
Advantages of being a paediatric nurse
Paediatric nursing has the potential to be one of the most rewarding fields to work in as a nurse. Handling children can be a roller coaster ride but capability to work primarily along with the children is one of the topmost advantages of being a paediatric nurse. The work experience might vary depending upon the children. Some children may be delicate while others are always joyous and playful. Working with children always brings a kind of satisfaction and content to your soul. A lot of time is spent with the concerned parents and family of the children. Parents often have a tendency to appreciate paediatric nurses because of the love and support they provide to them. As paediatric nurses, you always have open doors to learn new things.
Also paediatric nurses demands are on the rise. You can take paediatric nursing as a career option as there are endless opportunities waiting. The demands for nurses are huge and job outlook is projected to grow much faster than average.
Disadvantages of being a paediatric nurse
Most common difficulties faced by paediatric nurses are emotional challenges. While working with children over the course of time, nurses do get attached to child. The child and the family also get familiar with the nurse. A child’s health deterioration is always distressing. While nurses struggle to improve the health of the children, it is disheartening to see if they are unable to recover.
Dealing with parents and relatives of the children in these times may be tough. Parents and family tend to take out their stress and frustration on nurses. Supporting them can also be challenging aspect of the job profile. Paediatric nurses are required to be compassionate and empathize, regardless of the circumstances. They always need a sound mind to deal with these difficult emotional situations with a calm and positive approach, without taking them personally.
Paediatric nurses still find satisfaction and enjoyment in spite of the hurdles faced. But you should know that paediatric nursing is not a career to be taken lightly. Those who truly find dedication in the work they do can choose it as a career option. Trust me! Nothing can be more rewarding and satisfying than to work alongside children. If you enjoy spending time with children and have the endurance to deal with their tantrums then being a paediatric nurse would be a good option for you.