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These nurses work with patients from infancy all the way to early adulthood. The general age guideline for pediatric classification of a patient is from birth to 18 years old. You’ll find pediatric nurses in hospitals, private family practices, local clinics and anywhere else that caters to children’s healthcare. They work closely with the physicians to provide treatment of their young patients in a variety of ways such as administering immunizations, and treating common illnesses. Pediatric nursing is widely regarded as a fulfilling and promising career, and the level of nurse burnout in this specialty is one of the lowest.
Pediatric nurses also administer developmental screening tests. They also work closely with the parents and chills family to teach them how to prevent childhood diseases, and instruct the parents about child nutrition to help ensure proper growth and development as the child grows.
There are sub-specialties of pediatrics that nurses choose to specialize in which can include but are not limited to: pediatric cardiology, pediatric oncology, pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric dermatology.
In the pediatric cardiology sub-specialty, they treat patients suffering from various complex heart problems and will often be found working in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Units and in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Intensive Care units. These cardiac specialty nurses can be found in pediatric outpatient facilities and private practice offices as well.
Pediatric nurses that choose the pediatric gastroenterology sub-specialty will treat pediatric patients that suffer from a variety of gastrointestinal problems, such as disorders of the stomach, and intestinal tract, liver and the pancreas. Some of the other conditions that Pediatric Gastroenterology Nurses will most often treat are nutritional problems. Some of those problems range from inflammatory bowel diseases, Gastroesophageal reflux disorder, acute & chronic liver disease and Eosinophilic esophagitis.
Nurses that choose to specialize in pediatric dermatology will treat the wide variety of skin diseases and disorders that exist. They also can be found in burn units treating children and adolescents who have been burned and require skin care treatments. Nurses in this field are all trained and qualified dermatology nurses, but choose to treat children instead of the entire age spectrum.
Some of the most common skin disorders and diseases that pediatric dermatology nurses will see and treat during the course of their careers are, but not limited to; Acne, Psoriasis, Age spots, Ring worm, Shingles, Scabies, Poison Ivy, Poison Sumac and Poison oak, Dermatitis, Frostbite, various forms of Eczema, Moles, Cysts, Clark’s Nevus, Dandruff, Cold sores, Lupus of the skin, sun spots, Sebaceous Hyperplasia, and Lyme disease.
Nurses that choose to specialize in Pediatric Oncology have one of the toughest jobs in nursing, as oncology deals with cancer. And a child fighting cancer is a very emotional event and in a lot of cases heart breaking.
Pediatric oncology nurses are a special breed of person because of the nature and scope of their work. Pediatric oncology nurses must have a very high degree of emotional stability because where cancer is involved, the outcome is often times not a happy ending. If treatments fail, then it is these nurses who are tasked with helping the patient and the patients’ family members cope with the emotional distress that is involved. And when it is a child, the emotional stress on these nurses is tremendous.
Cancer comes in many varieties, whether it is internal or external. Cancer treatment‘s are tough and take an additional toll on the human body, even more so where children are concerned. Composure is another major attribute that curses working in pediatric oncology must master. While the parents of a child suffering from cancer may be visibly upset, often times crying, the nurse must be able to maintain her composure, often times crying on the inside and if as in a lot of cases where these nurses develop a very close bond with the patient and patients family, they sometimes allow their emotions and grief to flow with them when things do not turn out as expected during the course of cancer treatment for these children.
But on the flipside, the children who respond to the various forms of treatment well, and in some cases go into remission or where the cancerous tumor is removed by surgery and is completely gone, there is much joy for all involved. So it is with that said than a pediatric oncology nurses life is an emotional roller coaster filled with joy and sorrow.
Pediatric nurses are required to have their RN diploma, RN license, and an associates degree or bachelor’s degree. Licensed Practical Nurses can, and often do, serve as pediatric nurses.
Most pediatric nurses earn an average of $32,000.00 to $83,000.00 annually, while the median salary is around $55,000.00 per year, but the actual salaries of them will vary depending on what specialty they work in, as well as including various bonuses among other factors.