Life of a Paediatric Nurse
The life of a paediatric nurse is incredibly diverse and involves treating young patients from the point of birth, all the way through to adolescence. And while there are a variety of positions a nurse can hold in the paediatrics sector; the most frequent title is a “Paediatric Registered Nurse”. As a nurse in paediatrics, one would need to perform many of the same functions as registered nurses would handle, however the method of execution is often drastically different, especially since the patients under their care are usually more vulnerable and need greater support from family and/or guardians. Moreover, Paediatric nurses have access to more sub-specialities within paediatrics to invest into throughout their careers. Their work includes large amounts of contact time with their patients, potentially leading to forming closer relationships with the patients and even their families. Below are just some of the main responsibilities incorporated in most nursing roles:
- Observing and recording patients progress and well-being
- Helping to carry out and perform diagnostic tests and analysing results
- Conducting and administering a patients’ treatment and medicine
- Teaching and informing patients and families on how to supervise injuries or illnesses
In the PICU department
Much like the nurses who are involved in working with adults in the intensive care unit (ICU), PICU nurses also centre around treating and caring for patients with more serious and life-threatening conditions. The majority of core duties remain the same, however there are some minor differences, primarily revolving around conveying a higher degree of care and understanding towards a young child and their family.
Just as one would imagine, working in these more specialised nursing areas can occasionally have some emotionally taxing moments. It’s never easy to see young children struggling in their fight against a terminal disease, and it is just as difficult to witness the impact on their families. However, it’s not always doom and gloom, as helping young patients to make a full recovery can be a brilliantly rewarding experience.
Some advice for being a Paediatric Nurse
- Much in the same way that other nurses are able to specialise while working in adult care, paediatric nurses can do the same. Whichever health department you’re fascinated by, be it oncology, NICU, orthopaedics, home healthcare, emergency care, trauma, gastroenterology, intensive care or case management, you’ll definitely be able to invest into a paediatric department which best suits you.
- A young kid can hop from crying and out of control to giggling and smiling a few moments later. This allows you to play an immense part in those moments. Furthermore, not only is it great for the kids, but it’s brilliant for you as well, as nursing can be occasionally become stressful, so these types of encounters and interactions can make the day better.
- A patient’s family is vital to their recovery, making it essential that you effectively communicate with them and the child. More often than not, as the family is stressed and mainly focused on the patient, siblings end up getting ignored, or become second priority, therefore, it makes a huge impact if the siblings’ emotions and presence are properly acknowledged.