Nursing is one of the noblest professions you can opt for.
However, it would be wrong not to talk about how stressful the job can be. Besides the fact that you have to be on your toes throughout your shift, you also have to deal with a fair degree of grief when you lose a patient. We often forget how emotionally exhausting this career can be if you don’t know what you are getting into. There is a fair degree of stress involved with just about every branch of nursing, but perhaps none more so than pediatrics.
Not only do pediatric nurses have to maintain saintly levels of calm but dealing with the loss of a child leaves an existential void in just about anyone’s heart.
If you are starting or considering starting a career in nursing, please read this article till the end. This piece is geared specifically towards pediatric nurses and the skills they need to start and grow in their field. We will cover a range of skills to ensure you have what it takes to make it in the industry and thrive to the best of your ability. Here are five skills you need to have.
Advanced knowledge of the subject area
It would be wise to have every factor in the book in your favor when venturing into this potential career. One of the best ways to do so is to pursue an advanced degree to ensure you know the subject’s content and the ins and outs. Degrees like an Msn-Fnp are likely to give you the exposure you need to thrive in your chosen area of nursing. This will help you navigate the road ahead and give you the credentials to grow in the field in terms of position, status, and financial compensation.
Mastering the subject matter is a skill that will go in your favor throughout your career. Studying alongside work as a nurse is going to be a part of life that you will need to accept. You will be studying throughout most of your career at some point or another.
As a nurse for children, you will need to show a fair deal of empathy for the patients you are working with. If you don’t truly resonate with what they are going through, there is a strong chance you might not break through to them and fully understand the issue. This is especially the case with children in the psych ward. Understanding the gravity of their mental illness is a major step in the right direction as far as treatment is concerned.
Moreover, from one adult to another, you also need to understand what the parents are going through. Medical practitioners often get irritated when parents flood them with a barrage of questions and get emotional during treatment. You must remember that this is their child, and they don’t know how else to behave.
Especially when the child is dealing with a terminal illness, things can be extremely difficult for the parents. The nurses must remain calm and patient with the parents and share that they understand their feelings.
Let’s not beat around the bush; you are going to have to deal with your fair share of annoying kids as a pediatric nurse. It will be hard initially, and you might get extremely irritated, but you need to keep calm and let it slide.
These are children who are sick, hurt, or terminally ill. They can’t fully communicate how they feel and often behave this way as a product of their situation.
For this reason, it would be wise for you to practice empathy once again and truly remain calm in even the most irritating situations. The more you keep your cool, the more likely it is that you will thrive in this job.
Extend the same respect, patience, and consideration to these children as you would to the geriatric patients you deal with. In many ways, they are extremely similar.
When dealing with children, it would be best to get your message across to them in the most concise package possible. You need to be able to dumb things down to their simplest form for a small child to understand their condition. Jargon won’t work here, and it would be counterproductive for you to use complex language.
Communicate with the children in a way that they would understand. Have a calm, warm, and welcoming tone where they feel safe around you. Remember, they are probably extremely confused and scared to be alone in a hospital, be a friend to them.
Your tone speaks volumes when dealing with children. Imagine you were a class teacher trying to get your point across to them while keeping them entertained the entire time.
Pick up on their nonverbal communication
One of the best ways to understand your little patients is to listen to what they are not saying. Their body language will tell you stories that their words aren’t. They might not be able to communicate what is wrong with them.
Watch their actions and body movements to gauge what might be wrong with them. Where they hold their hands, how they wince, and what they identify as discomfort. These are all factors that will help you narrow down the issue if you weren’t finding it initially.
With that said, it would be wise to use a combination of verbal and non-verbal communication to understand what the child might be facing. Narrowing things down this way will help you and them to find common ground. The sooner you do so, the sooner they can get the treatment they need.
We highlighted some skills above that we think could be game-changers if you were to pursue a career in pediatric nursing. Whether you are entering the field or seeking growth opportunities, these skills could go a long way in helping shape your career.
This is one of the hardest branches of the nursing profession. We thank you for the effort you put in and hope that things get easier.
From pursuing a higher education degree to effectively communicating, we have discussed several points that we think could help you as a pediatric nurse. Thanks for reading till the end!