To be a pediatric nurse or not to be?
- 0I've wanted to be a pediatric nurse since the fourth grade because I just love kids. However, lately (although I do have a ton of time before nursing school), I'm not sure. I was talking to my older cousin, a nurse, and she said that she wanted to be a pediatric nurse, too, because she loves kids, but after losing so many kids she couldn't do it anymore.
Basically, I'm asking - what are your experiences as a pediatric nurse? Do you ever regret being a pediatric nurse? And is it worth the losses?
Thank you so much, I really appreciate any answers!
- 0Dec 27, '10 by NotReady4PrimeTime, RN Senior ModeratorPeople are born already dying. Some have more time before their end and some have less. Many people have difficulty dealing with the emotional aspect of caring for children who may die because they're children and are only just starting out in life. And because they identify with the child's parents. Nursing sick kids isn't the same as babysitting or playing with them. You often have to do things that are painful, frightening or unpleasant, without any options. A lot of the time they're too sick and you're too busy to provide the "care", the cuddling and the comforting that you really want to give them. But then there are days that you can do those things and they're priceless. Last week I had the opportunity to sit in a ricking chair for 2 hours just holding a toddler. The fact that he peed on me was incidental. I felt privileged to be the one who comforted him while his dad was gone for a break. But my typical days aren't like that. You should see if you can shadow a peds nurse for a day. Then do a gut check. (What does your gut tell you about how you'd feel in that nurse's shoes.)
- 0Thank you, I'll definitely see about doing a shadow day with a pediatric nurse. I do love kids but I'm definitely more into nurturing them, that whole deal. Maybe NICU would be better? No matter what I decide (after lots of research, of course), thank you so much for your help and advice. It's very much appreciated!
- 0Dec 27, '10 by NotReady4PrimeTime, RN Senior ModeratorOh no, NICU would not be better. Those babies are very much hands-off most of the time. The nurturing that is done in NICU is to leave them alone for 3 hours at a time, do a quick diaper and position change, tube feed and back under the shroud until next time. The sicker ones you'd hardly ever touch at all.
I'd like to suggest you think about Child Life. Child Life Council : Overview Of Child Life Council That might be more up your alley.
- 0Dec 28, '10 by nursel56 GuideHi wannabe nurse! I just wanted to second Jan's suggestion to look into becoming a Child Life specialist. When I worked at a peds hospital I found little time to actually hold, rock or play for extended amounts of time with them.
The peds rehab unit with less sick kids usually made up for it by assigning more patients rather that allowing us to spend more time with the ones we had! Other areas you might look into are Speech and Physical Therapy for kids with congenital conditions of all kinds. It's a long haul process but you can see the difference in kids who receive these services in a timely manner and those who don't.
As a peds nurse you will be dealing with the parents and their appreciation of what you do can be very rewarding, even if the child doesn't make it they will never forget you. That is quite something to think about! Best wishes to you!