Common Pediatric Nursing Career Challenges
If you’re currently in school to become a nurse and you’ve been trying to figure out what field to specialize in, if you enjoy working with kids, have you ever thought about becoming a pediatric nurse? In this particular industry, there is plenty of job security, you can work in all kinds of settings from hospitals to schools to clinics and the entire time, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re devoting your time and skills to helping children to get better.
Yet although being a pediatric nurse is a highly-rewarding position, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t also come with some challenges too. If becoming a pediatric nurse is something that has piqued your interest but you want to make sure that you make an informed decision before committing to the field, we have enclosed some of the more common pediatric nursing career challenges that many nurses experience below:
Children cannot always communicate what’s wrong with them. When you’re working with very young patients, they are not always old enough to be able to clearly communicate with you. This means that they are not always able to fully experience how they are feeling. When trying to get to the root of an issue, this can definitely pose a challenge because you have to learn how to look at body language and also follow your gut instinct.
There is not necessarily a “standard dosage” when it comes to medication. If you find that you have to administer medication to a young patient, being that every child responds to medication differently, there is no real standard dosage. This means that you have to monitor the medicine that you give, especially to a child, very closely. (Their life depends on it.)
Children tend to be extremely frightened when it comes to certain instruments and shots. When a child sees a certain instrument coming their way or they know that they are about to get a shot, you can get all kinds of reactions from screaming and kicking to crying and even trying to run off. It is important that no matter how they are responding that you remain calm at all times. Sure, it might take a bit longer to get what you need to do done, but your patience will help to establish a trust with them.
Parents are usually on the scene. Sure all parents want their children to feel better but that doesn’t mean that they always like the methods that have to be taken in order for that to happen. So, oftentimes as a pediatric nurse, you have to endure a lot of questions and sometimes even comments that feel like they are direct attacks from parents. You have to remember that they are sometimes scared too and so you are the one who needs to be the voice of reason.
Children sometimes die. Whether you decide to go to the University of Cincinnati or somewhere closer to where you live for nursing school, something that your professors are not going to be able to fully prepare you for is how to deal with a child patient that passes, but it does indeed happen from time to time. So, you have to think about if you can handle not just your emotions during that kind of experience but if you are able to support the family when this kind of tragedy happens. Being a pediatric nurse is not just about giving physical help but providing emotional support as well. That can be challenging, but also remember that it can be extremely rewarding too.