Becoming a Pediatric Nurse: 5 Things to Consider

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When you consider a career in pediatrics, as a nurse or otherwise, it’s not uncommon to hear how rewarding it can be.  It’s very true, but it’s also important to realize the nuances of that experience and like any nursing profession, it isn’t always straightforward and it can be incredibly challenging.  Pediatric nurses can work with children ranging in age from infant to adolescent and must deal with the challenges present in every age group.  It can often be more challenging and demanding than working with adults.  When you’re thinking about pediatric nursing career, it’s important to know precisely what’s in store.[no_toc]

You Must Like Being Around Children

This seems like an absolute no brainer, but people entering a field where kids have an overwhelming presence often overlook this tiny detail.  They have their career on their, their future, and the personal goals they want to accomplish on their mind.  They don’t fully consider the atmosphere and nature of the work.  This happens more often than you’d think.

Kids Can Be a Handful

Even those who love being around kids can easily become overwhelmed.  Pediatric nurses are around children non-stop, for hours on end, and it can become very stressful.  And it goes without saying, kids aren’t always the most cooperative.   Simply by understanding the nature of kids, their spontaneity and energy, you can be prepared to handle then and situations that may arise.  Kids are inevitably going to act like kids.

Know How to Communicate With Kids

When you understand how to communicate with children both verbally and non-verbally, you’ve overcome a major hurdle.  One of the biggest reasons kids don’t like to go to the doctor is poor communication.  Poor communication leads to misunderstanding and fear.  As a pediatric nurse, successfully communicating with a child and helping them understand their situation, whether it’s a simple checkup or something more significant, can ease their apprehension and make their visit much more pleasant for everyone involved.

Every Child is Different

Every attitude, behavior, and condition will ultimately determine how you communicate with each child.  There isn’t a one-size-fits-all method of communication or interaction.  You’ll need to address both physical and emotional needs and with multiple patients, it can be a balancing act.  Then, of course, there are the parents or guardians.  You’ll be required to be nothing short of the world’s best listener.  There will be a number of things going on around you at all times, so you’ll need to be on your toes and able to deliver information, medication, and expertise in general to whomever may need it.

It’s Not Easy

With children especially, it can be difficult to keep emotional distance.  Some situations can result in devastating heartbreak, but, those moments shouldn’t eclipse the successes and there will be plenty of successes along the way.  Additionally, pediatric nurses need to have utmost patience and attention to detail.  Again, with each stress, demand, and challenge, when you know it’s what you really love to do, it’s deeply rewarding regardless of the obstacle.

About the Author:  Martin Cook is a health education consultant with Health Education Solutions, specializing in online medical education and certification. He provides information to those seeking everything from basic health certifications to a full career in the healthcare industry.

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Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics and finding help online is near to impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses through the creation of content and lectures that is easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire students in nursing. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, breakdown complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.

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