Pediatric nursing is a demanding job but, if you have what it takes to succeed, it can be extremely rewarding. Putting forth the effort, whether nursing skills come naturally or need to be developed through time, will only benefit your patients and your profession. You have the qualities to be a good pediatric nurse if you enjoy being around children, caring for them, and playing with them. Working as a pediatric nurse necessitates a unique blend of education, abilities, and personal attributes. A pediatric nurse will frequently declare that their job is the best in the world.
If you decide to specialize as a pediatric nurse, Baylor University Online offers a range of pediatric nurse practitioner programs that prepare versatile, specialized nursing professionals for a variety of care environments. Certain skills and characteristics cannot be taught in a classroom or learned from books. Many of the essential skills come naturally to those in a nursing environment while others can be practiced and perfected. On-the-job learning plays a huge part in assisting a pediatric nurse to be successful at their job.
Positivity is Contagious
Children are great receptors when it comes to emotions. The pediatric nurse’s happiness and positivity can boost the patient’s well-being. Stress is known to impair healing from injuries and diseases so a nurse who can shine their positivity despite circumstances is very helpful. A pediatric nurse’s demeanor is also important and influential. The double ability to remain calm in emergencies as well as relaythis calmness to the child and the family is hugely beneficial when dealing with situations that may be frightening and overwhelming.
Patience is a Virtue
A pediatric nurse who can maintain composure and not allow stress to get the better of them or a situation is a beneficial team player. It can be frustrating trying to get answers from children who have underdeveloped communication skills or from parents who are anxious and irritable, or even from doctors who are rushing from one patient to the next, but a nurse with patience will persevere to be able to provide the best care possible.
Compassion and Empathy
Nursing is often referred to as a calling. It is not only a means to a salary every month but rather a dedication to making people well. Kindness and caring are qualities that are essential in pediatric nursing. It is easy for nurses to become desensitized but they need to be committed to provide empathy to each patient and treat each one as an individual while still maintaining a professional distance.
Attention to Detail
Healthcare is by definition a detail-driven profession and a nurse who can pay attention to details is more likely to deliver quality care. They should prioritize upholding patient preferences while detecting issues and conditions before they present themselves. By forming strong connections and bonds, a good pediatric nurse can also promote good morale with their co-workers and team. They need to be able to combine orders from doctors with their own skills and judgement.
Communication is an important skill for all nurses. They must be able to effectively communicate with their team as well as with patients and their families. It is advisable to use the preferred first names of the child and family members to build rapport and trust. Try to get to know something extra about your young patients, like a favorite television show or movie characters. This adds that extra dimension to providing focused care to the individual. A good pediatric nurse must be able to explain situations and procedures to children in age-appropriate ways.
A good pediatric nurse needs to be an active listener who treats a child patient as if he or she was her own. It is a good idea to inform parents of the plan and goals for the day to help them feel less distressed and anxious.
Problem Solving Skill
Experience and keen critical thinking allow a good nurse to put the pieces of a puzzle of information from the patient (child) and family together to find the facts and make a diagnosis. Children and adults can be distracted and scared, and a good pediatric nurse should have the ability to calm their fears as well as provide distractions from painful or frightening procedures.
Stamina and Endurance
Nurses work long hours, often on their feet, in situations of pressure and stress, so they need to be mentally strong and physically fit.
A Sense of Fun
A sense of humor and a willingness to be playful are great qualities a pediatric nurse should strive for. A smile goes a long way to helping a patient to feel comfortable and cared for. Tell a joke, sing a song, pull funny faces, read a book, bring along a stuffed toy: these acts of everyday fun help children to trust their nursing practitioner. Pediatric nurses often have child-themed scrubs made to allow their young patients to feel comfortable and relaxed around them. However, a careful balance needs to be forged between playtime and treatment time.
Willingness to Learn
Healthcare is an ever-evolving and changing science, with technological improvements and breakthrough studies, a good pediatric nurse needs to be flexible and willing to put new knowledge into practice. This goes for all nurses of all ages at any stage of their careers.
Time management skills are essential for a good pediatric nurse. Knowing how to concentrate on critical issues first is very important. Nurses need to see challenges and tasks through to completion. They need to keep personal checklists and spreadsheets if this helps to organize their time effectively. Taking short breaks to regroup is also crucial for nurses in highly stressful situations.
Self-care is essential. Nurses, like other professions, need to take time to unwind and destress. It’s tough to plan downtime because of shift employment, long hours, limited paid time off, and an unpredictable schedule. But doing something they enjoy, or even taking a long bubble bath after a hectic shift, can give them that much-needed escape from reality. Other important aspects of self-care not to be forgotten are good nutrition, sufficient sleep, exercise and laughter. As caregivers to the core, nurses tend to prioritize the needs and activities of their children, spouses, and parents, and as a result, their own health care requirements take a backseat. However, to care for their patients and family, they must prioritize their own health.
These ten characteristics are vital in becoming a good pediatric nurse who is well-loved and respected by both their patients and colleagues alike.