Pediatric NursePediatric nurses specialize in infant, child, and adolescent care. They administer physical examinations, take vital signs, and recommend diagnostic tests. Some pediatric nurses are trained to analyze test results, diagnose patients, and recommend treatments.
Parents with hospitalized children usually prefer that pediatric nurses treat their children since they have specialized training. Children's bodies are constantly changing, so they react differently to prescriptions, disease, and injury.
Likewise, many children are nervous at medical clinics and do not express themselves well. Pediatric nurses understand how to communicate with young children and make them feel at ease. Additionally, they understand the right types of questions to ask children to get honest answers.
Pediatric nurses also teach parents how to care for children struggling with juvenile diabetes and other debilitating diseases. They often develop care plans for parents with disabled children.
Pediatric nurses often teach disease prevention and children's health classes at community centers. They also attend health fairs to offer basic health screenings, administer immunizations, and perform physicals.
Pediatric nurses are employed at surgical centers, hospitals, medical clinics, and physicians' clinics. At hospitals, they can be found at pediatric oncology, pediatric critical care, and neonatal units.
Many pediatric nurses are employed at schools, community health centers, and non-profit organizations that specialize in helping underprivileged and uninsured children. Pediatric nurses typically collaborate with family doctors and pediatricians. Although they perform similar duties as other nurses, they usually spend more time meeting with patients' families.
Pediatric nurses typically make between $48,000-68,000 annually, but salaries are affected by geographic location, work experience, and education. Pediatric nurses with years of experience usually earn annual salaries exceeding $100,000.
Career Training and Education
Pediatric nurses usually hold bachelor's degrees in nursing. If pediatric nursing interests you, consider volunteering at a school, community center, or youth recreation program to acquire experience working with children. After graduating from an accredited bachelor's program, you must become licensed as a registered nurse.
After being licensed as a registered nurse, seek employment with a pediatrician or children's medical clinic. Gaining work experience will prepare you for a master's or certification program in pediatric nursing. If you obtain a master's degree, you can become certified as a pediatric nurse practitioner. These specialists are permitted to prescribe controlled medications, make diagnoses, and administer certain medical procedures.
Pediatric nurses should be empathetic, good listeners, and trustworthy. Nurses who gain children's trust will get honest answers from them. Pediatric nursing can be stressful, but it's rewarding to care for sick children.
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