Nursing Tips For Working With Child Patients

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When studying to eventually earn your online nursing degree, it's important to keep in mind that handling all types of patients is an essential dynamic to the job. Having a career in nursing means that you'll be working with a wide variety of patients, and treating children is a common part of the profession. There are even plenty of specific nursing occupations that primarily deal with child care, ranging from a school nurse to a pediatric associate. Here is a general overview regarding how to properly work with child patients, as well as specific duties of various child-focused nursing occupations:

Preschool Children
If you're expecting to treat a younger preschool patient between the ages of 3 and 5, the first step toward proactive nursing is quickly determining the child's mood and emotional state. It's especially crucial to understand that these age groups tend to be extremely nervous when entering a hospital or doctor's office, and first impressions could be the difference between a successful or difficult visit. If a child enters the room expressing happiness and doesn't seem uncomfortable with the environment, continue to try and keep that positive energy flowing by greeting them with a smile and friendly tone in your voice.

Of course, sometimes you'll encounter kids who are upset or crying, in which case its best to start off by ignoring the child patient, primarily engaging with the parent to draw attention away from the kid. It's a general rule of thumb to just try and treat the child as quickly as possible, especially if they are exhibiting distraught behavior.

Elementary To Middle School
As children age, they tend to develop their overall personality more, and catering to their character is essential to making the treatment process go smoother. Quick and easy icebreakers are a simple way to help establish some trust, and allowing these kids to talk about themselves, such as what their favorite hobbies or school subjects are, may help them grow more comfortable with your presence. This is also a time where a kid may wish to be thought of as more independent, and communicated with like an adult. If they ask you any straightforward questions about their visit, try to answer in a professional, yet accommodating manner, while discussing more pressing information with the parents.

Careers In Child Nursing
If working with children is something you would like to experience during your career in nursing, there are plenty of specific occupations that primarily focus on treating younger patients. In addition to needing excellent communication skills and a certified degree, there are a variety of traits aspiring nurses will need to be successful in providing pediatric care.

Pediatric Registered Nurse
From the beginning stages of infancy to the later qualities of teenage life, a pediatric registered nurse is a title for those who are passionate about treating children. The overall duties of a PRN can range from immunization screenings to treating illnesses such as the chickenpox. Working with both the child and the parent simultaneously is essential to fully discovering what is the source of their visit. A typical salary that is earned by PRNs tends to vary between $48,000 to $68,000 a year.

School Nurse
If you generally like to treat children who are generally older, working as a school nurse may be the perfect fit for you. This occupation tends to be more laid back in terms of treatment as well as environment, but the roles of the job go above and beyond just treating the students. In addition to accurately determining prescription medication quantities, dealing with recess-induced wounds and figuring out whether a child is severely sick or not, advocating proper safety and health guidelines throughout the school is another key component to the job.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse
This important, yet demanding job calls for treating children of all ages. A PICU nurse tends to work solely with kids experiencing grave conditions, such as life-threatening illnesses or displaying lack of vital signs. This role will require working alongside a wide range of medical staff, as well as being able to effectively communicate with parents on their child's current condition.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit

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