Pediatric nursing is a multidisciplinary specialty, where professionals must attend and care for children. This branch of nursing has great relevance to study and inspect the development of a child from birth to the end of adolescence.
There are specialties in pediatric nursing to cover each of the needs that may occur in children, whether from common illnesses or serious injuries. Their capabilities are extensive to have the greatest understanding with the family and the health of the children.
Now, we will explain you the responsibilities and functions of the pediatric nurse, it is important to know each of these aspects if you want to specialize in it, so, continue reading.
Pediatric nursing roles
The role of pediatric nurses is different from the role of adult nurses because children are continually developing, while adults have injuries or illnesses that impact their development.
Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the pediatric nurse is important, so we list each for greater understanding, below:
- Gathering information from nonverbal cues, children or infants may be little able to explain symptoms, where the professional must act according to their knowledge and characteristics demonstrated by the child.
- Responsibilities are very diverse, many times nurses may care for a newborn baby or a 12 year old adolescent with an injury. They must also adapt an environment where everyone feels safe.
- Tasks a pediatric nurse must perform may include: checking the child’s temperature, examining each patient, giving injections, administering appropriate medications, and changing dressings for wounds.
- Pediatric nurses must maintain communication with all specialists, from health aides, physical therapists, pediatricians and even psychologists. Since it is part of their responsibilities to take proper treatment of the patient.
- The nursing area is very broad, where they must know how to change beds and help patients eat. Many times, they can fulfill the responsibilities of health aides, as well as washing and dressing the patient.
- Being adequately involved with the development, care and information about the child, allows the family to know the proper treatment and trust in the hands of a professional the health of the little ones.
Skills that pediatric nurses need to exercise
Each of the skills that we will explain are important and taken into account when practicing this profession. Among the skills of the pediatric nurse, we should highlight the following:
- Maintain organization and planning to each of the nursing objectives, to achieve a rigorous care of each responsibility.
- Ability to employ each knowledge acquired in their professional training in the work environment, according to pediatric services.
- Carry out the employment of therapeutic participations and administer medications being responsible for any reaction and risk in the patient’s organism.
- Knowledge about the correct handling of specialty equipment, within any area of pediatrics, as well as intensive therapy services.
- Communication skills to achieve calm, encourage and explain to each patient and family the situation. Must have the ability to improve the environment, establishing a close and trusting relationship with children and family members.
- Must keep updated information on new technologies and procedures within the pediatric nursing branch, innovation is allied to ensure better service, so education must be continuous.
What should the professional profile be like?
The professionals graduated in pediatric nursing must possess a large amount of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that highlight their work, when practicing in a work area. The professional profile is continuously developed in the training process.
The basic competencies that should stand out are: education, care, research and administration. When the pediatric nurse begins to develop in the work environment, he/she must have certain skills, knowledge and competencies, as well as:
- Making correct decisions with appropriate aptitude.
- Keeping up to date with each new procedure, treatment or studies.
- Respect people regardless of their beliefs, backgrounds, race, etc.
- Ability to work under pressure, very confident.
- Knowledgeable in bandaging and wound healing.
- Prescribing medications, according to the patient’s needs.
- Taking temperature and blood pressure of patients.
- Communicative, numerical and practical skills regarding their area.
- Knows about each medical function to advise patients about other medical specialists.
- Develops medical care plans, and organizes very well each of the responsibilities to be carried out.
- Monitors, supervises and manages medical equipment.
- Must be kind, tolerant, friendly and have a lot of patience with each patient.
How much do pediatric nurses earn?
The title of pediatric nurses will have a salary according to the area where they perform their work, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It further states that nurses can earn a salary of $96,630 per year.
While, certified pediatric nurses have a higher salary than nurses who are not certified, we explain below:
Certified pediatric nurses:
- Northwest region $74,647 annual salary.
- Southeast region $68,095 annual salary
- West region $75,218 annual salary
Non-certified pediatric nurses:
- Northwest region $63,393 annual salary.
- Mid-Atlantic and Lower Great Lakes region $52,185 per year
- Southeast region $53,313 per annum
- Midwest Region $75,000 annually
The certified pediatric nurse practitioner has a greater chance at jobs, where opportunities tend to grow much larger over the years. Non-certified nurses, however, may have fewer opportunities and a lower salary when hired.
Where can a pediatric nurse work?
Pediatric nursing has a wide labor field, where all the graduated professionals will be able to exercise the years of training with their acquired skills and knowledge.
It can be exercised in pediatric hospitals, specialized clinics, home visits, sports centers, orphanages, schools, health institutions, among other places where they can develop according to their studies independently.
Other spaces where the pediatric nursing profession can be exercised, can be:
- Public or private health centers
We can conclude that, the pediatric nurse fulfills crucial roles and responsibilities within a care team, in any area of health care. Pediatric nursing is a continuous study, where opportunities are extensive.
Also, we must add that pediatric nursing goes beyond caring for children, prescribing medications or taking temperatures, it requires love, patience and the ability to make the little ones feel safe.
Pediatric nurses can adapt to any situation, including informing family members about a child’s situation. So, children will be very happy to have a nurse who knows how to offer hope, relief and joy.