What's pediatric oncology like?

  1. 0
    Hi everyone:

    I am new to the website and a new grad also. I have started looking for work and my dream is to become a nurse anesthetist some day but along the way I would love to experience a trauma room or an ED, maybe ICU, which I'll need to do my master's anyway but I'm dying to experience that type of fast paced unit. Anyways, I have just been offered a position in a Hem/Onc pediatric unit and even though is not my dream job I'm considering it seriously because I need the money and the experience to get to where I want to be. I was wondering if some of you can tell me what it is like to work in a pediatric oncology unit, the good, the bad and the so-so. And perhaps even give me some advice, should I take the job or should I wait for my dream job?

    Thank to all in advance!!
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Congrats on your offer. I think you should take it. It will be great experience. And waiting for that dream job, in this day in age, doesn't come frequently. I never actually worked on that unit, but I had a clinical rotation on a cancer and blood peds unit and it just broke my heart seeing those small sick children, seeing how strong these children can be through the disease, hearing the success stories, and hearing the devastating/sad stories. I do think that a strong person, who loves children, and wants to work with children would really enjoy the job to the fullest. I love children, I actually thought I wanted to work with children but I seriously cried when I worked with those small sick children, it just broke my heart.
    My first job was actually in peds/nursery/NICU, ugh, I was apprehensive about it but working with children is really satisfying. Thankfully we didn't get really sick children but it was hard when a little baby was sick.
    So think of those things. But if this is your only opportunity you might as well take it.
    Hope I helped!
    Midnightfire likes this.
  5. 4
    If this is not something you are passionate about I would advise you not to take the job. It is a grueling, heartbreaking job..I stay because I LOVE it and it is my dream job. These are some of the sickest kids you will see (minus ICU) who can be fine one minute and septic the next hour.

    At the same time it is the most rewarding thing I've ever been apart of. I looking forward to going to work everyday. My coworkers for the most part are all so caring and so smart

    It is a difficult specialty that I hope you don't take it just because it is a job. It really must be more than that
    poppycat, Midnightfire, rnmj, and 1 other like this.
  6. 3
    Peds oncology is not for the faint hearted. These kids are incredibly sick. Some die. With certain diagnoses, the majority die. The youngest child I ever saw with cancer was 2 weeks old. The youngest I saw die from cancer was a few months old.

    Pediatric cancer presents with very vague symptoms. A parent will bring their child to the pediatrician with leg pain, the pediatrician will tell them it's probably a virus or something like Lyme, draw blood and then call them later that evening saying "bring your child to the ER NOW!" And then you will be charged with explaining to this previously healthy child why she will now endure 2 years of chemotherapy as well as their completely dumbstruck parents who ignored the symptoms at first because they just thought the child fell.

    It is definitely fast paced and you will learn a TON. You'll have patients needing blood transfusions, on feeding tubes, on TPN, with all kinds of venous access.

    You don't say in your OP if you're interested in pediatrics in general. If you're not, I'd gather to say that this is not the unit for you but I also understand that turning down a job in this economy is not wise.
    poppycat, Daisy_08, and Midnightfire like this.
  7. 0
    Thanks for your replies everyone. My dream job is to be in a Trauma room. That's my ultimate goal right now but I would work in almost any department until I can reach my goal. I have 2 kids and my little cousin died from cancer a few years ago in that same Hospital that I got the offer. I think I'd do a great job in whatever department I go because I am very dedicated to doing my job (whichever it may be) greatly and with lots of passion. Today I got another offer at a small level II ER, which I'm considering cause it is closer to my goal than pediatric oncology. I'm kind of torn and don't know what to do LOL, I'm just thankful to God to even have any opportunity to work at this point because being a new grad with this economy is something else! Thank you for your advice again!!


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