Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.
I've got a while to think about exactly what I want to do with my nursing career but so far, I've narrowed it down to pediatrics. Does anyone have opinions on exactly what kind of pediatric nursing is most enjoyable? I know this question is kinda leaning towards the subjective view but I'm very curious. What can you all tell me about PICU and NICU nursing? (what should I expect, How stressful is it, blah blah blah blah).
Sep 22, '05
I think any area in peds is more enjoyable than anything in the adult world. It takes special people to do peds, I think. You have to be willing to do things that hurt the child like IV sticks, shots, ect. You also have to be able to see children who are suffering. I know that is why a lot of people do not want to do peds nursing. With that being said, I love it! I love the way kids react to sickness. Where an adult would whine and complain after they have had surgery, a child will be up and playing within hours! Kids have an amazing ability to take lemons and make lemonade out of the worst situations!
As far a particular area, I work in pediatric emergency. I like it because the kids come in and we send them home or to the floor or the PICU. We don't actually see that many kids die because we get them somewhere else before. I think it keeps me sane. I think if I worked PICU or NICU I would entirely too attached to the patient and thier families making it harder if the patient had a bad outcome.
I floated through the PICU and NICU while I was in my orientation program. I liked the ICU better because I liked the patient population. I loved taking care of the preemies. I think the NICU could get boring because you get the same patient population with vitrually the same things wrong with them, whereas the PICU you see a broader range of patients covering the entire spectrum of ages and disease processes. Either unit is great for developing great assessment skills. In my hospital, nurses tend to burn out more quickly in the PICU because of the high acuity of the patients coupled with the high morbidity of the patients. The NICU at the hospital I work at has the most senior nurses (some have been there 30 years). I worked with a nurse who had been there for 26 years and was 18 in senority. That is a good sign it is a good place to work.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions.
Sep 22, '05
I prefer NICU. Although it may seem like we see the same conditions over and over, that hasn't been my experience. Aside from the "regular" premies we get all sorts of congenital disorders and surgical patients. There is a huge variety. Most of our patients will eventually get well enough to go home. Some don't and it is very sad, but I also think it's a blessing to be able to provide comfort to families who lose their little loved one. I don't like PICU because they get all of our saddest babies when they are readmitted (2-18 year olds with traches, g-tubes, total care) and it just depresses me. I also don't like the range of ages in our hospital. They take from babies all the way to 21 year olds. I don't think 21 qualifies as pediatric.
Sep 22, '05
I appreciate the input guys. Thanx alot. Good stuff.