Nurses who specialize in pediatrics devote their knowledge and skills to caring for children from infancy through the late teen years and their families.
These specialized nurses usually complete advanced training in pediatrics and collaborate closely with physicians and other health care providers who share their dedication to children’s health. Like other nurses, pediatric nurses can perform physical examinations, measure vital statistics, take blood and urine samples and order diagnostic tests.
Nurses with advanced training can interpret test results to form diagnoses and develop treatment plans.
Parents often prefer to have their children treated by pediatric specialists, because children have special health care needs.
Their bodies are growing and changing, and they often react differently to injury, illness and even common medications. In addition, children get scared and can’t always clearly communicate “what hurts.”
Pediatric nurses know how to talk to children and how to dispel their fears.
They also know how to ask children questions about their health, so they can gather complete and accurate information to aid in diagnosis and treatment.
In addition to caring for patients with injuries and illnesses, pediatric nurses spend a significant amount of time educating parents and other caregivers about how to care for their children and protect children’s health. For families of children with chronic conditions, such as juvenile diabetes or paralysis, they design home care plans to help the families meet their child’s special needs.
Prevention and health education is a big part of pediatric nursing.
Pediatric nurses often staff community health fairs and visit schools to perform physical exams, immunize children and provide routine developmental health screenings