The Pediatric Nurse

The Nursing profession has an infinite number of choices to offer its’ practitioners. A nurse can specialize in any area of nursing that he/she chooses. It may include working closely with the doctor as a Nurse Anesthetist. The nurse can also choose to be immersed in an adrenaline pumped Emergency Room. And if the nurse loves kids, he/she can choose to specialize as Pediatric Nurse.
What is Pediatrics and Pediatric Nursing?
Pediatrics is a branch of medicine that deals with infants, toddlers and adolescents. It is a specialized field that aims to maintain a child’s overall wellness as well as treat any underlying conditions be it acute or chronic. Pediatric Nursing is a special Nursing field where the nurse has constant contact with patients below a certain age. The diseases and disease processes that a nurse encounters may be the same as with adult patients, but the fact that he/she is working with children makes it an entirely different ball game.
To the layman, Children may seem like mini-adults. They may come to the conclusion that kids need the same care as adults do. But, the fact is that children have a different set of needs compared to adults. They may find it more difficult to understand the different procedures done to them. This means that pediatric nurses and doctors have to learn to understand kids better. They may also be called to use several methods that help children feel more at ease with their surroundings.
An effective pediatric nurse is important to a child’s confinement because he/she can help decrease the child’s stress levels. A pediatric nurse also helps in decreasing the trauma and negative long term effect that the hospital confinement may have on the child.
Tips on Dealing with Children:
Pediatric Nurses deal with children all the time. These kids may find it hard to understand that the different medical procedures they done to them are for their own good. More often than not, the nurse is met with an uncooperative child riddled with fear. The child may present with a certain degree of anxiety that affects him/herself, the parents as well as the people surrounding them. Below are a few tips and tricks that Pediatric nurses have been using for a long time. These tips held him/her deal with children better an as a result dramatically reduce the anxiety experienced by the child and his parents.
·         Child Friendly Terminologies: There are a lot of medical terminologies that a child may find difficult to understand. This often results in the child being afraid and uncooperative. The best solution for this situation is to explain the procedure in terms that the child understands. Teaching aides like puppets and fun diagrams may also be utilized.
·         Never lie to the Child: Often, parents and nurses tend to lie to children in order to get them to cooperate. They may say that a vaccine injection won’t hurt, when in fact it does. This results in the child being distrustful and fearful of the procedure more than he/she should. What parents and nurses should do is to tell the child the truth, they can say that: “The procedure may hurt a little, but it will just be like being bit by an ant”. That is a more effective way of dealing with the child because he/she will anticipate a little bit of pain instead of none at all.
·         Getting an adult in the game: Sometimes a child is afraid of routine procedures such as Blood Pressure measurement and Temperature taking. This fear can often be alleviated by allowing a parent or another adult undergo the procedure themselves. This way a child sees that there is nothing to be afraid of and he/she will cooperate better.
Other Individuals Involved in the Care of a Child
It is a well known fact that the Pediatric Nurse not only deals with the upset child. He/she also has to deal with the parents and other individuals involved in the child’s care. Often, parents and guardians can make a Pediatric Nurse’s task easier by helping to calm the child. But, sometimes their anxiety levels may be greater than that of the patient. In these kinds of situations the Pediatric Nurse also has to deal with the parents and adults involved in the child’s care.

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