Pediatrics/which area to pick?

  1. I have interview dates but don't know how to pick an area of interest. One nurse recruiter asked me where my interests were and I was tongue tied. I didn't expect it. All I could say was ER/Trauma. She listed a bunch of departments and the one's most interesting to me were ER, Burn, and then I said "or med-surg". Why? Why? Why? I was caught off guard.

    My question is this: How do you know which specialty area to pick if you are so lucky as to get to pick an area to interview for? Any peds nurses out there, I need some tips(words of wisdom) or "a day in the life of" would help sort through it all.

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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   BrandyBSN
    I have really only found one area of nursing that interested me at all, so asking for a position in that department was an easy choice. Plus, I had a fantastic preceptor during my internship, and she was the best role model I could have asked for.

    I am still a student, graduating May 18th, so I am obviously not a peds nurse Have you considered shadowing a nurse in the areas you are interested in? Try to do it on different shifts if you can, since the different shifts can really be like different worlds. Try every area you are interested in, you might just happen upon a speciality unit that you really click to. It might be worth checking out I thought I wanted to work in L&D for years, that is actually what I started out in school wanting to concentrate on, until last year when I started in the ER. It was an immediate "I feel like I could do this for free" feeling. Granted, if i did it for free, my loans would never get paid Try everything out if you can, but nursing is one of those careers that if you dont like one area, there are dozens other to choose from

    Best of luck to you!
    BrandyBSN
  4. by   Dplear
    KC...

    May I suggest Neurology? It actually is a fun floor to work and the rewards are great. You see a lot of bad things but you see more great things. I hope you are going to TCH...I am one of the Charge Nurses on the Neuro unit there and we NEED more staff.....(plus we have a great boss to work for and a great group of coworkers)

    Dave
  5. by   live4today
    Originally posted by kcasey
    I have interview dates but don't know how to pick an area of interest. One nurse recruiter asked me where my interests were and I was tongue tied. I didn't expect it. All I could say was ER/Trauma. She listed a bunch of departments and the one's most interesting to me were ER, Burn, and then I said "or med-surg". Why? Why? Why? I was caught off guard.

    My question is this: How do you know which specialty area to pick if you are so lucky as to get to pick an area to interview for? Any peds nurses out there, I need some tips(words of wisdom) or "a day in the life of" would help sort through it all.

    Ahhhhhh, the day in the life of a pedi nurse! Let me count the memories.... I had the blessed privilege to work on pediatrics in three different hospitals. The parents are the "real patients" on the pedi units, the kids just come along for the ride. :chuckle

    As sick as the kids are, the parents have major issues of their own that it's hard not to feel like a family therapist when you work pediatrics. The mothers, especially, have a hard time with their little ones being in someone else's care, so you must be super sensitive, yet firm, with the mommies. Dads are usually much easier to get along with, and listen better when they are told things than the moms who may be listening, but at the same time have their own agenda in store for the little one. MOMS? Gotta love 'em!

    The hardest part of nursing sick kids is when one dies, or fails to improve during the course of their illness. You tend to get very attached to the little rugrats, and before you know it, your own motherly emotions are greatly affected just because they are too irresistable! If you can handle the parents, especially the mothers, and if you can be strong enough to handle the real sickly child and the dying child, then you should do fine working with inpatient pediatric kids.

    What was your strongest area in nursing school? Where did you tend to do the best...both academically and clinically speaking? What area of nursing grabbed your attention in the strongest most passionate way? That should help you to decide where you will fit the best. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide!
  6. by   nurs4kids
    I'm with Dplear, I love neurosurgery. I don't like medical peds because you expose yourself to things before you know what they are, then take them home to share with your own kid. My preference is surgery patients. They are "clean" for the most part. Our general surgery and neurosurgery is the same floor, so we get a wide range of diagnosis. One minute you're playing with a NG tube, the next you're setting up an EVD on a neuro pt.
    The neuro kids are awesome because it keeps you on your toes...one minute they're talking to ya and an hour later, they're crashing. It just all depends on what you like, but the most important thing must be a love for kids and a tolerance for parents, aunts, grandparents, etc, etc, etc.
  7. by   canoehead
    Neuro-yuck. Lots of rehab needs, long term vents, low turnover of patients and families.

    I liked medical peds, we got a great variety and lots of intriguing cases (only two of these in the world!) along with some long term problems with kids that we knew from the time they were babies. When I worked on infectious disease floor we got all the kids with a bug no matter what their original problem was, neuro oncology, ortho, so that was a great floor for variety and learning a little about every other specialty in the hospital.

    I would go back in a minute, except since I would be moving back to Canada they would have to double my pay to keep up with what I make here.
  8. by   kcasey
    Thanks...great words of wisdom! I guess I answered my own question but it took some of your posts to read before that lightbulb went off in my head. I keep finding myself going back to the chapters in the textbook involving burns, trauma, anything gorey. I pay attention in class especially during these lectures and can't keep my eyes open during an oncology lecture. Peds rotation was really good and was able to care for the little guys and their parents too. I liked it. Where I work as a PCT/nurse tech I couldn't help go over to crash when there was a really bad pedi trauma. The mom was "different" and true it was easier communicating with the dad, grandpa and even grandma but even though I had my adult ER patients I couldn't help it. I just had to slip over there when down time. I was drawn to it and felt comfortable with that patient situation. The grandpa even turned and looked at me and said I was "awesome". I got choked up. Sounds crazy but all I really did was pay attention to them and the comfort of their daughter and told them I would check on them often. And that's when gramps said "You are totally awesome". Okay, let me go cry cause I'm all choked up and hide in the bathroom. Seriously, my eyes watered. Everyone, including me, in that ER are so stone cold at times, I couldn't find one person to share my little story with.

    Surgery is a thought! Dplear...thanks for the tip but neuro, I don't know. I am not smart enough!!!!!!!

    There it is...critical care! Cooooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!! :roll
  9. by   tomrnff
    I just moved from Ohio to Florida. While in Ohio I was in an adult ER for over 10 years. I started burning out on adults a while back. When I moved to Florida, I had the choice of adult/community ER again, Flight, or peds ER. I took the Peds ER and I love it. It's not only a great change, but a new challenge.

    I was nervous at first, but so far everything has fallen into place. I actually look forward to going to work for the first time in years.
  10. by   Huganurse
    I choose to work on a surgical step down unit in a pediatric teaching hospital for my first job out of college. It was the best thing I could have ever done in my opinion. We had patients from all surgeries and I was not only specializing in peds but was able to expand my knowlege of every body system! From craniotomies, brain tumor removals, t/a's, open heart, ortho, nephro, GI, etc. if surgery was done on the child we got them. It was so varied that after 2 years I knew enough about so many different systems that I could choose to work just about anywhere! It was a wonderful way to start my career! Oh, it was also long enough ago that we still did primary nursing and nurses ran the hospitals and doctors made the major decisions about the patients. So I suggest you go somewhere that offers a variety of patients and where you feel you would learn the most. I have to agree with some of the others that I also did not like medical or onc. It was just to much for me to handle when they didn't make it, especially when I was floated to MICU (which was so often I became a fixture). I also liked the ER, transport and SICU. Good Luck in whatever you choose! Let us know where you end up!

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