Quote from janfrn
It actually does take some toughness to be a peds nurse. You have to be able to squash down the whole they're-kids-and-kids-aren't-supposed-to-get-sick/die thing so that you can get the job done. If you're overly wobbly on that, you'll suffer and burn out early. You also have to be able to look a parent in the eye and tell them that Cheetos are not food, that soda is not a substitute for water and that all children need limits, such as an appropriate bedtime... You need to be able to tell a kid that you don't understand whine-language and that screaming for no reason isn't acceptable. You have to be able to look at a 3 year old who wants nothing more than a huge glass of water and tell them they can't have more than a sip becaues you know they're going to barf if they drink as much as they want. You need to be able to conceal your feelings when you're faced with a non-accidental trauma and the mom sitting at the bedside is the perpetrator. Peds nurses are tough.
We're also really good educators. We have to teach our patients and their parents about their illnesses and treatments in terms they can understand. It's an art, figuring out how to explain heart surgery to a 4 year-old or side effects of chemo to a 10 year-old. It's also tricky to know just exactly what a parent really wants to know about thier kid's illness.
We're creative. Getting a child to swallow a med isn't usually straight-forward. Getting them to present a limb for an IV start or injection isn't easy. Getting cooperation from a toddler is a challenge on 20 different levels. Creativity is the key! If you can chatter away about pop culture icons such as Dora the Explorer and her monkey Boots, or Thomas the Tank Engine, you'll get a lot farther.
It does take a psecial person to work peds. Think of how differently each age group views the world and how much they understand about it. A peds nurse needs an arsenal of approaches that they've developed over time. Having kids of one's own isn't a prerequisite, but knowing how to interact with kids is. Good luck, and welcome to our Little World.
Wow, I can not thank you enough for that post.. You addressed many of the issues I was almost too afraid to bring up.. one being, as you quoted " You need to be able to conceal your feelings when you're faced with a non-accidental trauma and the mom sitting at the bedside is the perpetrator. Peds nurses are tough." I do think that, that part of it will be difficult for me.... but I guess I will have to learn to look at the WHOLE picture and the child's best interest and as you said... put my feelings aside.. I do think I am as creative, as creative comes, I think I can bring that to the table
but not only that of course.. I give peds nurses so much credit because they must have so many eyes on them, of course they are so knowledgeable, but the parents too (in most cases) know just as much, in some cases more, about their child's illness... so the eyes are constantly on the caregiver, wanting to know each and every move.. I love the parts in which you addressed regarding "toughness" as a nurse, because thats where I feel I am, and it would not be in a negative way.. I just have never been one to OVERLY baby anyone including myself, but please, do not confuse that with a lack of sympathy by ANY means.. but mores in the regards that you addressed, right on the spot
I sincerely thank you for your comment and am actually going to save it for the future so I can refer back.