I will be starting a new job at a pediatric hospital soon. I have always worked with adults so this is a change for me. What is the best advice that you can give someone that is switching from the adult to the pediatric population? I will be working in dialysis.
Welcome to pediatrics! You might want to brush up on your pop culture: cartoons, ABC Spark shows and Nickelodeon shows and listen to some music recorded for the adolescent market. Because you're going to be working in dialysis, many of your patients will be quite used to the routine and might tell you how to do your job. Listen to them! Some of them will be mature beyond their years and others will be so psychologically stunted that they'll seem more like toddlers. You'll figure out early on which parents you can enlist to help you and which are going to look at you like you're crazy to suggest it. You'll also figure out which of them will engage in conversation and which just want you to get on with it. You may be required to run dialysis in the PICU, so prepare yourself mentally for that possibility. At my children's hospital the PICU nurses are quite comfortable with running CRRT on their patients, but when it comes to hemodialysis, we always get somebody from the dialysis unit to come down to us if our patient can't go to them. You can also expect to be teaching peritoneal dialysis to parents and patients. You'll need to learn what system your facility uses and feel competent with it so you're teaching them the right things. But most of all, just be yourself. Kids can spot a "phony" from miles away.
Thank you for you advice. I will be strictly working in the chronic unit for now. The acute unit goes to the PICU, NICU etc. I couldn't agree more about the 'phony' issue. They can certainly pick up on it.