Along with differences in treatment, there are also differences in communication. Working with young children is very different from working with adults. Even elementary school children are less adept than adults at describing and communicating things like where they’re feeling pain. There’s also a big element of keeping them calm. Going to the doctor can be scary for children, even for routine vaccinations.
Being able to work well with young children is an absolute must for pediatric nurses. You have to be one of those people who has a way with children. And needless to say, it takes tons of patience, too.
Careers in Pediatric Nursing
As we’ve mentioned, nurses who specialize in pediatrics obtain a post-graduate certification in that specialty. Usually, they’re RNs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data points to a bright and promising future for RNs in general, and pediatric nurses are no exception.
There are also nurse practitioners who specialize in pediatrics, presenting another career option for aspiring nurses. This involves getting a master’s degree after your bachelor’s, which generally takes around two years to complete.
Where Can Pediatric Nurses Work?
Your options are limitless – indeed, you could have more options than a nurse who didn’t specialize. You could work in a school, in the emergency room, a hospital clinic, an ICU, a hospital floor, or a doctor’s office, assisting a pediatric physician when caring for children.
Your choice depends mainly on your personal preferences – each one of these areas of medical care always requires nurses, so you can pick whichever one is most appealing to you for personal, financial, or location-based reasons.
If you love working with kids, specializing in pediatric nursing is a fantastic choice. The field is always growing – after all, people are always having children – and the specialization of pediatric nursing can help you get a job after you graduate from nursing school and become an RN.
Just be prepared for the unique difficulties presented by pediatric nursing. Your patients will behave differently than adults, and you may have a harder time communicating with them, and you’ll have to have very good bedside manner, as children are usually frightened when the come to the hospital or visit a doctor.
If none of that scares you, a specialization in pediatric nursing is probably a great choice for you.