I would be interested in pediatrics, but...

  1. But... young patients make me nervous!

    Okay, let me explain. I work on a 40 bed med-surge unit in a mid-sized community hospital. On our particular unit, we also care for pediatric patients.
    However, we do have a pretty low volume of those patients, maybe 10-12 per month. Therefore, when I DO get a pediatric patient, I get nervous. Taking care of children is SO much different than taking care of adults. Good example:
    I'm used to taking care of adults with asthma, COPD, and other breathing problems. I've taken care of adults who have either gone into respiratory arrest, or were WELL ON THEIR WAY to respiratory arrest. However, I've always known how to intervene, and I've always been able to thwart this and get the person breathing better, at least for now. But, children go down SO MUCH QUICKER than adults. It's like, they can be sitting up in bed smiling and talking to you one minute, and coding fifteen minutes later. Adults just don't do that. So, long story short, I get VERY nervous taking care of peds patients, especially the ones that are in with any type of respiratory issues.

    I would be interested in pretty much switching my specialty from adult med- surge, to perhaps pediatric med-surge, or even pediatric orthopedics. I love working with kids and it would mean so much to me, and to my heart, to help sick children. I know that with the rewards of peds nursing, there is heartbreak. I know that it would be hard work; just as hard as adult med-surge, if not harder and stressful. But my heart keeps telling me, that there is a world for me outside of adult med-surge.

    So, HOW, in this stage of the game, would I land a job in pediatrics? Would someone want to hire a nurse who has done ALMOST only adult med surge for the two years that she has been a nurse? And would I be able to get the comfort level that I want, taking care of these children?
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    6 Comments

  3. by   llg
    Yes ... a good children's hospital would be happy to give you a chance to learn pediatrics. Note that I said "learn pediatrics." A good children's hospital will not expect you to come in with a high level of expertise in peds and will provide a thorough orientation (classes plus preceptorship) that will last at least 2 months.

    Check with your local pediatric facilities and start investigating what they have to offer. Find the one that best suits your needs (and provides a good orientation) and then follow your heart. Waiting longer will not make it any easier.

    Good luck.
    llg
  4. by   sirI
    Quote from llg
    Yes ... a good children's hospital would be happy to give you a chance to learn pediatrics. Note that I said "learn pediatrics." A good children's hospital will not expect you to come in with a high level of expertise in peds and will provide a thorough orientation (classes plus preceptorship) that will last at least 2 months.

    Check with your local pediatric facilities and start investigating what they have to offer. Find the one that best suits your needs (and provides a good orientation) and then follow your heart. Waiting longer will not make it any easier.

    Good luck.
    llg
    :yeahthat:

    And, take a PALS course now. Good luck. You can do it!!
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    It is true that kids will most often have a respiratory arrest before a cardiac arrest (smaller airways and healthier ...), but tell me, what would you do for your adult patient heading down that road? O2, raise the head of the bed, suction, jaw thrust, oral airway, positive pressure ventilation? Gee that's what we do for kids. PALS is a great idea; it will demystify things for you and show you that it's not as bad as you think. Good luck!
  6. by   denapeds
    I say go for it especially since you like kids. Once you get over the fear of them being small you get used to quick assessments like you do for adults. Sick or not sick? The best part about peds is that for the most part when they feel better they are fun. Not grumpy old men whether they are sick or not.





    Quote from RealNurseWitch
    But... young patients make me nervous!

    Okay, let me explain. I work on a 40 bed med-surge unit in a mid-sized community hospital. On our particular unit, we also care for pediatric patients.
    However, we do have a pretty low volume of those patients, maybe 10-12 per month. Therefore, when I DO get a pediatric patient, I get nervous. Taking care of children is SO much different than taking care of adults. Good example:
    I'm used to taking care of adults with asthma, COPD, and other breathing problems. I've taken care of adults who have either gone into respiratory arrest, or were WELL ON THEIR WAY to respiratory arrest. However, I've always known how to intervene, and I've always been able to thwart this and get the person breathing better, at least for now. But, children go down SO MUCH QUICKER than adults. It's like, they can be sitting up in bed smiling and talking to you one minute, and coding fifteen minutes later. Adults just don't do that. So, long story short, I get VERY nervous taking care of peds patients, especially the ones that are in with any type of respiratory issues.

    I would be interested in pretty much switching my specialty from adult med- surge, to perhaps pediatric med-surge, or even pediatric orthopedics. I love working with kids and it would mean so much to me, and to my heart, to help sick children. I know that with the rewards of peds nursing, there is heartbreak. I know that it would be hard work; just as hard as adult med-surge, if not harder and stressful. But my heart keeps telling me, that there is a world for me outside of adult med-surge.

    So, HOW, in this stage of the game, would I land a job in pediatrics? Would someone want to hire a nurse who has done ALMOST only adult med surge for the two years that she has been a nurse? And would I be able to get the comfort level that I want, taking care of these children?
  7. by   PyschoNurseLPN
    I have always worked med-surg,mostly with geriatrics. I was just hired today in fact, working in Peds. I'm nervous to say the least, but I needed the change. I figured everything is the same just smaller. The pain scales are smiliar. I'm concerned at a pediatric patient being scared and not allowing me to do cares. Where as an adult will be afraid but understand more about what is going on. I will keep you posted on my new endevor.
  8. by   ScrappingTrojan
    Quote from PyschoNurseLPN
    I have always worked med-surg,mostly with geriatrics. I was just hired today in fact, working in Peds. I'm nervous to say the least, but I needed the change. I figured everything is the same just smaller. The pain scales are smiliar. I'm concerned at a pediatric patient being scared and not allowing me to do cares. Where as an adult will be afraid but understand more about what is going on. I will keep you posted on my new endevor.
    As with everything in nursing, you'll learn how to deal with kids. But I totally agree with the post above about looking into a facilty with a good preceptorship, internship program, residency, etc. Working with an experienced peds nurse will make all the difference in the world. Godd luck!!

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