Pediatric nursing. Aside from the maternity unit, it’s one of the places you want to be in the hospital. There’s nothing as sweet as knowing you played a role in helping to heal a little one’s ‘boo boo’ or brought a smile to an otherwise-sullen teenager. As a CNA, working with children is something special, and although not every case you come across will end happily, those that do will fill your spirit and make it all worth it.
Of course, that’s only if you’re up for the challenge. The thing you have to consider when you’re working in pediatric nursing is that you’ll be working with children of all ages, from infants to teenagers. As a health care assistant, the LPN or RN in charge will have the skills to perform a number of procedures. Your job will be to take care of the basics, like:
- Intake information
- Vital signs
- Basic care, like bathing, feeding, and changing diapers
- Holding infants and children when their loved ones and parents are not available
- Reporting any changes to the charge nurse quickly and efficiently
Yes, smiling. And joking. And laughing. Your number one job will be to make the child you’re caring for feel better. You’ll need to like children, have plenty of patience, and an ear for details if you plan on going into pediatric nursing as a CNA.
Pediatric Nursing: Tips to Make Children Feel Better
Tip 1: If you’ve ever seen Grey’s Anatomy, (and who hasn’t?) you should know from the start that Arizona Robbins said it best when she stated, “Do not alarm the makers of the tiny humans. They will eat you alive.” When it comes to delivering news, assisting in the care of a child, and discovering anything medically disturbing, pay attention to your facial expressions and body language. Show compassion, but don’t look scared or alarmed. Parents will pick up on this quickly, and children will pick up on any distress from their parents. Let the nurse deliver the news and follow her lead. If you discover a rash or sore while bathing a pediatric patient, let the nurse know, but keep any signs of fear from your voice.
Tip 2: While the nurse is giving a shot, placing an IV, or performing a procedure, consider it your duty to distract the patient. A child who is fascinated by your playful questions about what they ate for breakfast might not even notice that a large needle is about to be poked into them. A teenager who is sharing their favorite TV show with you might feel less pain while a procedure is being done. Get your patients to concentrate on something else for a little while.
Tip 3: Sometimes you have to know when to step aside and let the parents step in. It doesn’t speak to your abilities as a health care assistant at all. It’s simply about making the child feel better. Sometimes knowing that dad or mom is close by or holding them can soothe them and make the tears go away.
Embrace Pediatric Nursing as a CNA
As far as nursing job opportunities go, pediatric nursing is one of those specialties everyone wants, but many aren’t ready for. Make sure you’re ready after CNA training and be prepared to do what it take to keep your patients happy in this nursing field.