What qualities are good to have as a Pediatric Nurse?

  1. 0
    Okay, so I'm a fresh new sophomore nursing student starting my first block. I believe PEDS is the way to go for me, but I want to hear from people who have experience in the area. What qualities are more needed in PEDS and more useful to have than other types of nursing?

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  2. 9 Comments...

  3. 1
    I'm not a peds nurse, but I do work on a mixed adult/peds progressive unit and I am hoping to start taking peds soon. From my own experiences, however, I think to be a pediatric nurse you have to be very patient with kids and also know how to be creative.
    Gold_SJ likes this.
  4. 2
    I would agree with turnforthenurseRN that patience with children and creativity are GREAT to have when working in peds (it never hurts to have a few tricks up your sleeve--especially with the young ones, like animal stethoscope covers, finger puppets for some of the cranial nerve tests, and your imagination of course--the kids love when I tell them what I "find" in their ears!). I would also add to that patience with the FAMILIES as well. Family centered care is important in all areas of nursing, but I would say it is one of the most important aspects to remember in peds. This will come with learning and practice, but it's also good to know developmental milestones and stages VERY well. It's an amazing field Good luck to you!
    PedsRN9999 and turnforthenurseRN like this.
  5. 3
    I agree with all of these things. a few other things, talk to a lot of little kids and learn how they talk and how they think. It is difficult to understand a lot of little ones. i work with mostly 3, 4 and 5 year olds and I can almost always understand them but most of my colleagues cannot. It can go a long way if you know what they are saying and little tricks to get them to talk to you. for instance, if one is crying a lot, I usually will say, can you just talk a little slower so I can understand you because it is so important to me what you say. I try to get them not to focus on crying at all. And if I can find any cute little animal that can cling to a stethescope, buy it! walmart is great for these! Also, I sure hope that crying doesnt bother you! when i do shot clinics, I dont hear it for some reason, I have learned to tell the difference between a cry that is important and a cry that is reactive. I can tune them out if I need to get my work done, but I dont tune out the child or the parents. It is true, the parents are very important and usually more trouble than the child! calm their fears, let them know you hear them and keep them informed! also important is letting parents know that YOU know that they know their child best! cant say this enough! Give them credit for medical information that they may know and dont belittle them for this. I am a case manager part time and I cannot tell you how many of my parents complain about medical professionals whodo this, nurses and doctors!
    good luck, it takes a very special nurse to take care of the little ones!
    angels mommy
    NurseDippinDots, pnut8377, and Gold_SJ like this.
  6. 1
    I can't stress Family Centered Care enough. With children, you aren't taking care of just the child - you are taking care of the parents as well. Just remember, that child in the bed is their #1 priority, the thing they love most in the world. So they will be anxious, they will ask questions!! And definitely remember that that parent is your biggest ally, and the person that knows that child the best. It is THEIR child.

    Good luck!!!!!
    Gold_SJ likes this.
  7. 1
    I find being able to act like a child at times helps them relax and helps them become more comfortable with you. I personally am proud to act like a big child 90% of the time even when I'm not at work. But seeing as how you seem to like anime (awesome to see another anime lover BTW), it's a cartoon. Kids love cartoons!! One of the facilities I worked in about 10 years ago I introduced anime to one of the girls (patient) there and she loved it! Saturday nights we'd watch Teen Titans together (not that it's anime, but it was good) and it was 'our' thing. But a lot of people I worked with treated her like she was 2 and she was a teenager. I treated her like you're suppose to treat a teenager and she appreciated me for it. She liked being babied sometimes, but I didn't put up with it. Kids need to know, within reason, who the one in charge is. Believe it or not they respond to you putting your foot down. May not always like it, but the kids I took care of grew to love me really quickly, because I didn't take any crap or attitude, but I got down to their level to watch tv or play video games, or do crafts. They want a friend most of all when they're sick, someone they can talk to who they hope will do everything in their power to get them better if possible. Just find a way to have fun with it. If you're having fun, they'll have fun too. Good Luck!
    Gold_SJ likes this.
  8. 0
    Hm...

    I think one is to know how to be playful, making normal procedures and actions a game, from peek-a-boo to turning an asthma spacer into a magic space mask. Testing development with children and interacting with them goes better when they're distracted and happy than crying and non-cooperative (--.-- remember though there will always be children scared of strangers. It's natural at certain ages and at that point they won't be happy to let you do their temperature etc.)

    Another is to know what children are into, from favourite games and cartoons of young children to the movies, console games and hobbies of teenagers, conversation is easier on familiar topics and great for building a patient nurse relationship.

    Family centered care has been mentioned before already, I guess just remember sometimes it's more the parents you're reassuring/educating/assessing than the child. Welfare...Ward of the state...Failure to thrive cases anyone?

    Also to remember kids crash fast! But also get better fast, so turn over is often quick. That Respiratory failure comes first over cardiac failure.

    Qualities...I'd say ^.^ Playfulness (when needed), being able to listen (Kids ramble a lot! XD) , patience (Tantrums and naughtiness reign on), and knowledge on development milestones and age needs are important.

    Overall though? I think it's that you 'enjoy' it.

    If you can enjoy looking after children when at their worst, crying, in pain, missing home/parents, naughty. Yet still find yourself happy at the end of the day, then I think it's the perfect job for you.

    I love my job, I really really love spending time with children, seeing them smile, seeing them get better. If you find yourself feeling that way then go for it! The more paed nurses in this world the better!
  9. 1
    I am also new to nursing and to peds nursing. I have my own kids but have never been one to seek out kid time with other people's kids. My biggest advice to you is to treat the child like you would want your future child to be treated. You don't have to watch Disney channel for homework, but you can ask the child to tell you about their fav movie or video game or book, and they will get involved in telling you and you can ask questions, and it builds trust. Learn to sing lullabies and silly songs (one of my favs is Raffi's song Brush your Teeth when I'm doing oral care). I am not the best singer but the kids like it and singing breaks down barriers of fear. Be honest with them, if it's going to hurt tell them. Use simple non-alarming words like use straw instead of IV. Use band-aid instead of dressing. If drawing blood off an IV tell them you are just looking at it to make sure it works, and try to get another person to distract them. I have started a pretend IV on a spare diaper to show an 11 year old how an IV works so she could feel the soft straw that would be in her arm, not a needle. My biggest advice though is to find nurses that seem to be good at relating to the kids and watch them and do what they do. I have learned a lot from our nurses aides on how to talk to and comfort kids. We give the kids meds and treatments, but the aides really interact with them during bath times, and I have seen them work magic.
    mikomay likes this.
  10. 1
    Often it's the families you deal with more than the children. So having good communication skills (or rather GREAT communication skills) is essential. Also having an air of confidence about you (even if you fake it) is important so the parents feel they can entrust you in their CRITICALLY ILL CHILD (to every parent in hospital, even the sniffles is CRITICAL).
    Gold_SJ likes this.
  11. 0
    All the feedback here has been extremely helpful


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