Pediatric nursing is one of the most sought-after fields in nursing which specializes on caring for infants, children and teenagers. If you are compassionate and loves to taking care of children, then becoming a pediatric nurse is something to consider.
What is a pediatric nurse?
Pediatric nurses are healthcare providers who provide nursing care with the youngest age group starting from infant to 18 years old. It takes exceptional nursing skills to work with delicate age-groups of patients along with their families. The goal of pediatric nurses is to promote optimum health and manage both acute and chronic ailments.
Duties of a pediatric nurse
- Pediatric nurses work in the hospital’s pediatric department, clinics for children or at their private homes. Basically, pediatric nurses are responsible in performing physical assessments or examinations and administering medications as prescribed by the attending doctor to the hospitalized patients.
- Little children are typically afraid of healthcare settings. With this, pediatric nurses should make them comfortable and offer encouraging words so that they may perform various important treatments and tests smoothly.
- Responsibilities of pediatric nurses involve taking blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate of their patient. They may also start intravenous lines, administer IV medications and perform head-to-toe examinations as well as collecting patient’s samples such as stools and urines for lab tests.
- Pediatric nurses may specialize in areas like pediatric, neonatal ICU, neonatal care, medical and surgical unit, oncology and hematology department.
- Pediatric nurses also deal with tensed and depressed parents especially if their children are suffering from critical illnesses. It is the duty of pediatric nurses to inform their parents regarding the current condition of their children truthfully and offer emotional strength and support.
- Pediatric nurse also educate the significant others (SO) regarding proper ways in taking care of their children whenever they are discharged or during convalescent stage.
Condition of Work
Pediatric nurses work in pediatrician offices, hospitals, schools and home health institutions. They may also work in flexible hours or may work as on-call as needed. Working on weekends and holiday season is also possible.
A pediatric nurse should be a LPN or licensed practical nurse or RN or registered nurse, depending on the work setting. The LPNs may receive their license through their state nursing board after accomplishing their 12 month program. RNs may obtain an associate degree for 2 years or a bachelor’s degree in nursing which usually lasts about 4 years.
Occupation and Progress
Wages for pediatric nurses greatly depend on their academic degree, work experiences and work settings. The salary may also differ according to their location as some areas have higher cost of living than others. The salary range for pediatric nurses is about $35,000 up to $55,000 or more.