How Are the Parents?

Specialties Pediatric


  • Specializes in Trauma ICU, MICU/SICU.

Hi all,

I'm a first semester ADN student who LOVES kids (and have a way with them).

Of course, its way to early to tell, what will tickle my fancy in school, but I would not be surprised to find myself eventually end up in Peds, PICU, NICU, etc. My biggest fear is the parents. Is it very difficult to deal with the parents. I can only imagine, the stress the parents of a seriously ill child are under. And I know I'm not always the most pleasant person when I'm stressed out about my child. :D

I just wonder if I would be a good nurse to Mom & Dad. Don't get me wrong, I like parents... Just dont know if do/will have the nec. skills to help them through the crisis.

Oh, also have a dumb parent question (me being the dumb parent :rolleyes: ). How the heck do you get liquid medicine into a 2yo that doesn't like it. I think more ends up dribbling down her chin or all over me. Any advice/techniques are greatly appreciated. :chuckle

Gompers, BSN, RN

2,691 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I was researching children's medications on the internet the other day because my nephew spits out his medicine too...

You could try ElixSure, which is the new medicine they show on TV where it's like a gel so that it doesn't spill when you give it to your child. However I understand that it liquifies again once in the mouth, so you might still get spit at. There are formulas for fever/pain, congestion, and cough.

There is also a great article that I found that might help:

In that article, it mentions "FLAVORx" which is available at many pharmacy chains. There are up to 30 flavors that can be added to childrens' liquid prescription medications, and some pharmacies may even make non-prescription meds for you. For some of the worst medications, they can add something to decrease the bitterness as well. You might want to ask about it at your pharmacy. The article says they even have suckers for your kids to try, to see if they'll like a specific flavor.


Oh, and I work NICU, so I understand your worries about dealing with parents. When I first started, I was so nervous about it because I'm not a parent and couldn't put myself in their place, but it got better. I think that, as a parent, you have more compassion and can understand a little better what they're going through. You'll be fine. Just provide support and answer their questions. Helping the parents is often one of the most satisfying parts of working with children.

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

Having worked pediatrics before (and hope to again one day), your REAL patients are "The Parents". :chuckle

Keep that in mind and you'll be a wonderful pedi nurse. ;)

It's best not to personalize an irritable upset parent's behavior. Keep in mind they are NOT usually behaving the way they normally would under different circumstances. It is tough to be a parent of a very sick child. Not only do they feel bad about their child being so ill; they feel even worse because they are the one who gave them life, yet feel hopeless to help make them feel get well.

Give the parents time to express how they are coping with their child's illness. LISTEN to what they have to say about their child and the "loss" they are feeling because of them feeling so helpless at a time like that.

Don't just nurse the little patient, but remember the parents need to be nursed as well. Your day will go a lot smoother with the little ones if you keep this in mind. :nurse:


94 Posts

Getting a kid to take meds:

There's always the option of mixing it w/ a food they like. I tend to not like to use that because sometimes it ruins their taste for that food. The one thing that works really well at our hosp. and at the clinic is to put meds in chocolate, strawberry, or butterscotch syrup (as long as not contraindicated). The syrups disguise the flavor almost totally and it doesn't ruin the kid's taste for these things later.

You can also try blowing in their face (not forcefully) the minute you get the med in their mouth. This causes them to reflex to swallow. OF course, this is only for use in home and not at work related to infection control.

Good luck!

Oh, and parents are actually entertaining after a while. You get so used to it and learn how to adapt to just about all different personality styles. It gets to be fun if you look at it as a challenge!


1,078 Posts

Specializes in Trauma ICU, MICU/SICU.

Thanks everyone for your replies. You've eased my mind about Peds. We'll see. Just got introduced to taking BP's today, so I have a bit of a way to go. Lovin' every minute of it though!

Oh, and thanks for the meds advice. I'll have to wait for her to get sick again (hopefully not anytime soon).

God bless,

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