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WHAT DO PEDIATRIC NURSES DO?

If you have a talent for taking care of people, an interest in medicine, and a love of children, look into a career as a pediatric nurse. Pediatric nurses give care to the sick and ailing babies, toddlers and children in healthcare facilities and homes. They work as part of a team with physicians, other nurses and healthcare professionals to provide care, monitor health conditions, plan long-term care needs, administer medicine, use medical equipment, perform minor medical operations, and advise patients and their families on illness, care and continued care after a hospital stay.

Pediatric nurses work with children who may not understand why they are in a hospital or cannot communicate for themselves, and must be able to consult with parents and guardians for care, treatment and long term needs. As with all nurses, pediatric nurses work long hours on their feet.

Pediatric nurses can be registered nurses or licensed practical/licensed vocational nurses.

WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?

Licensed Practical / Vocational Nurses must have one of the following: an associate's degree in nursing, or have graduated from an accredited and approved nursing program.

In addition, licensure is required, and may be obtained from graduating an approved nursing program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-LPN). Depending on the state, there may be other requirements.

Additional specialty training in pediatrics may be required.

JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS

  • Critical-Thinking Skills: Pediatric nurses will need to assess a patient's health, as well as detect changes in symptoms, health or pain, and will need to know when action is necessary.
  • Compassion: Nurses help people. You will need to be sympathetic to a patient's needs, and be able to deal with people in various states of pain, trauma and tragedy.
  • Attention to Detail: Nurses can help doctors operate, administer medicines and work with specific treatments that, if wrong could prove fatal. Attention to detail is crucial.
  • Organizational Skills: Nurses will face multiple patients, with differing needs, stages of health and risks. Being organized and knowing how to prioritize will be helpful.
  • Calm Under Pressure: Nurses might face emergency, life-or-death situations. Being able to function in the heat of emergency will be necessary.
  • Patience: Giving care under stressful circumstances requires patience.
  • Communication Skills: Nurses might communicate directly with patients who are scared, in pain or in shock. Families will have questions and want answers. Nurses need to be a patient listener and good communicator to help keep everyone calm and help them understand the situation.

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