Peds nursing

  1. What is it like being a pediatric nurse?
  2. Visit storm375 profile page

    About storm375

    Joined: Aug '12; Posts: 22; Likes: 5
    from US


  3. by   ~PedsRN~
    It can be the most rewarding thing you do.... and it can also make you cry all the way home in the car.
  4. by   storm375
    What do you mean?
  5. by   KelRN215
    I gather that PedsRN means that you can have patients who break your heart. Kids die. To me the most devastating cases were always the kids who walked in normal and left completely devastated. Seen it happen too many times... the 12 yr old who went to the school nurse with the worst headache of her life that was really a ruptured AVM who ended up trach'd, G-tubed, quadriplegic and nonverbal... she died a few months later of pneumonia. My favorite patient was a 9 year old who originally presented for headaches. Was diagnosed with a whopping grade IV thalamic brain tumor... 12 hr surgery, she bled and ended up hemiplegic... she regained some strength in rehab and then quickly lost it as the tumor progressed. Died 9 months after diagnosis. Another case was the teenager who presented similarly... only child, star athelte, hemorrhaged during surgery and came out non-verbal, NG dependent, incontinent, immobile... went to rehab and herniated one day/ended up back in the ICU. His parents brought him home in the spring to a house that was still decorated for the holidays and then extubated him at home. He died within a few minutes. These cases were the most devastating to me because the parents lost their children far before the kids actually died and then they had to see them as a shell of their former selves for the last few months of their lives.
  6. by   CP2013
    Quote from storm375
    What is it like being a pediatric nurse?
    I think it depends on your background how you will feel about pediatrics. I know people who have children, those who don't, people who have medical backgrounds, etc.

    There are some who have kids and see their child in every child they care for, and can't cope with it emotionally. There are some who don't have kids and have no idea how to interact with children, especially if they are sick.

    And there are the opposites, People without kids who can't cope emotionally with sick kids, and those with kids who have no clue when it comes to a really sick kid.

    Some days will be great, and you will have a really resilient kid who can remind you to take it slow, enjoy life, and will put the biggest, goofiest smile on your face.

    Some days will be somber, and you will lose a kid due to trauma, emergency, cancer, or other disease process, and you will ask WHY, but there won't be an answer. There's no explanation for a sick child, and certainly not for the death of a child. No logic can ever explain that kind of tragedy. Some days you will be relieved to see them go, because you know the suffering will be over.

    Just like any nursing, pediatrics has it's benefits and disadvantages, but it can be so rewarding and yet emotional at the same time.

    Have you tried shadowing a pediatric nurse? Perhaps that will give you a better idea of what the job entails.
  7. by   storm375
    Wow not what I was expecting for answers at all.
  8. by   KelRN215
    What were you expecting?
  9. by   storm375
    Something a little more cheerful
  10. by   KelRN215
    Healthy kids are cheerful (sometimes). There's not much cheer when kids are dying. That's not to say that pediatric nursing is not rewarding... kids are incredibly resilient and it does warm your heart to see a 3 year old riding a tricycle around the floor as the mom pushes the IV pole with her chemotherapy and her tube feeds with one hand and holds the emesis basin with the other but it also breaks your heart when this beautiful child's innocence, childhood and possibly her life are taken from her by this insidious disease.

    Those of us who have responded to this post have worked in very acute environments with very sick children. It is not cheerful, not in the least, to walk into a room that is decorated with pictures of a smiling 5 year old on her 1st day of kindergarten and to see your patient- this same child- in bed: quadriplegic, trach'd, g-tubed, non-verbal and incontinent staring blankly at the ceiling.
  11. by   anon456
    Quote from storm375
    Something more cheerful I guess
    Kids who come to the hospital are often sad cases. You get the cheerful ones, the ones who come in for appy or something and get better and go home. But most peds hospitals have kids who are chronically ill who make up a good part of the population. You also see more child abuse than you ever thought existed in the world, more rare syndromes, and more weird freak accidents than you ever hear about on the news.

    Even a "normal" kid who comes in for appy or vomiting/dehydration must be pretty sick to be in the hospital at all. They are scared and feeling lousy, the toddlers develop a phobia of nurses quickly, and you have to stick them for an IV, persuade them to take meds they don't want to take, assess them in the middle of the night which sometimes requires waking them up if it's neuro related, and their parents are exhausted. The happy part of the job comes when those normal kids get better and leave and you know they are going back to a normal life.

    For me the happy part is getting the rare smile from a total care kid, or getting a kid to settle and sleep for a few hours of healing between my nursing care. I also get satisfaction by seeing a kid improve physically and not have a fever anymore or have increased urine output after being dehydrated, an asthmatic who can now talk in full sentences, or teaching parents how to care for their children and them showing they understand. I have to teach parents how to manage a new trach or g-tube, and make them feel good that their child is going to improve with these measures, when for most parents the thought of a g-tube or breathing tube is their worst nightmare.

    Not to sound snarky but if you want happy moments, maybe childcare or teaching would be better . . .
  12. by   storm375
    Ok now I get it