How is Pediatric Nursing Different from Other Types of Nursing?

In the same way that doctors receive the option to specialize in a field upon graduating medical school, nurses also have a choice in choosing a field of specialization. There are many options to choose from, each with their own benefits and additional levels of training required. In this article, the focus will be placed on pediatric nursing and how it is different from other types of nursing.

What Is Pediatric Nursing?

When a nurse says that they specialize in pediatric nursing, it means that they are specially trained to handle children ranging from infants to adolescents. Often times, you will find these nurses stationed at hospitals built exclusively for children, within the pediatrics department of a larger hospital, or in a private clinic working for a pediatrician.

In order for one to become a pediatric nurse, they must earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing. Upon graduation, they will become a registered nurse. The next step is to take a licensing exam in order to be able to practice as a nurse, followed by applying and qualifying for a national pediatric certification. This certification grants nurses the license to handle the medical problems and conditions of children.

What Makes Pediatric Nursing Different?

While pediatric nurses are well versed with key development and growth processes that are integral to the development of the child, they are also exceptionally trained in handling children and concerned parents.

The fact of the matter is that dealing with children requires excellent communication skills and a high degree of patience. A child will often have difficulty telling somebody exactly how they are feeling and won’t know how to communicate information that is considered valuable to any health practitioner. A pediatric nurse knows how to ask children the right questions, and keep them calm during procedures that they are extremely resistant towards.

In addition to the children, nurses must also apply those communication skills towards dealing with concerned parents. This can include anything ranging from education about the child’s condition and how to take care of them at home, to keeping parents calm during situations of extreme distress. While other specialties of nursing tend to deal with similar situations within their respective specialties, pediatric nursing requires a broader set of communication skills in order to deal with their daily workload.

One of the unique aspects of being a pediatric nurse is that they often form strong bonds and relationships with the children that they work with. When kids see a nurse they know and trust, they are much more likely to open up and tell them everything that they are feeling. In turn, this makes the nurse’s job far easier and everyone is happy at the end of the day.

It should be obvious at this point that being a pediatric nurse requires a truly genuine appreciation for children, and a vibrant attitude! The last thing that kids and parents want to see is a nurse that is not only disengaged at their job, but equally incompetent at what they are doing. Many nurses end up choosing this specialty because of the balance in medical knowledge and communication skills that must be met on a regular basis.

What Are the Future Job Prospects for Pediatric Nurses?

Many nurses usually go for a specialty on the assumption that their position will be deemed as highly valuable for years to come. This means that they will not experience problems with finding work upon graduation, or searching for a new position after the previous one has terminated.

Future trends tend to be very positive for careers in medicine, and pediatric nurses are no exception to the rule. According to data drawn from the Bureau Labour of Statistics, jobs for registered nurses are expected to grow by 19% (~500,000 jobs) between 2012 and 2022. Specific numbers for pediatric nurses were not provided, but it is generally assumed that this specialty grows at the same rate as the overall trend.

In conclusion, pediatric nursing is noticeably different from other branches of nursing yet offers enticing work benefits and opportunities that make it a worthwhile career to pursue. In spite of the stresses that any nursing job may provide, many nurses have said that fewer things brighten up their day more than seeing a happy child who feels better. The best part for them is that it was all because of their training and expertise that allowed the nurses to help them in the first place!

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