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Repost: Overcoming Pediatric Fears

Nurses   (1,065 Views 4 Comments)
by greenapplern greenapplern (New Member) New Member

491 Profile Views; 5 Posts

Hi All,

I am currently in nursing school, and I have a love for pediatrics. I completed internships in college throughout the hospital, and really enjoyed pediatrics. The concern that remains though is, how are you able to deal with pediatric deaths, traumas, etc. I have never seen any dramatic injuries/deaths in the wing while I was there, and I just wanted to know how you get through these traumatic times, and if it inevitably takes a toll on you mentally.

I would love to work in the department some day, but I am concerned about this. Thoughts? :nurse:

(Also posted on the Pediatrics Speciality Board)

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ChristineN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

3,464 Posts; 28,485 Profile Views

Hi, I've been a peds nurse for 3 years, and I understand your concerns. It can be difficult having to deal with cases of child abuse and neglect. I have primarily worked with the teenager population so while child abuse is seen less in this population, I have seen my share of neglect, especially medical neglect. In these cases you feel terrible for what the child has gone through, but knowing that you are helping to make a difference can help you get through it. I have had pts that I suspected were sexually abused, and those are the cases that I still haven't forgotten. In these cases your documentation is crucial. These cases were few and far between for me, but I know that is not the case on all peds floors.

The pediatric deaths can be hard to deal with, especially if it's a chronic or frequent flyer pt that you knew well. I have had a couple deaths that I mourned of chronic pts that died. I am glad that I had a chance to care for those children, and to be there to provide support to their families during the final days. Some nurses will attend funerals or have memorials as a way of showing our own since of mourning the loss.

Have you been able to shadow a peds nurse? It might be a good idea to try shadowing for a few days to see.

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5 Posts; 491 Profile Views

thank you for your response. i have not yet had a chance to directly shadow a peds nurse, but i will definitely look into that, because i know i would find the field rewarding as well as challenging but i am going to have to work on managing my emotions within this unit, for sure.

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kessadawn has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in pediatric critical care.

1 Article; 300 Posts; 9,465 Profile Views

I have worked PICU for 7 years, and we get through a death by sticking together, I work in an environment where we are not only supported by each other, but by management as well.

You will inevitably be devastated once, then you learn to put a little wall up, to protect yourself, you don't even consciously realize you are doing it. There are a variety of jobs available in pediatrics, you will have to research a little to find the perfect spot for you. Working general care pediatrics as opposed to ED or a PICU would probably have less occurances with deaths and codes. Or you can do home care, or work in pediatrician's office, rehab, there is so much available.

I wish you luck in finishing school and choosing your path!

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