The Life of a Pediatric Nurse

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					                                The Life of a Pediatric Nurse

        Since I was a child I have always had a love to help others. When I was a little

girl, my mom and I were driving around at the Plaza; I saw a man laying under a bridge.

I asked my mom, “ What is that man doing?” My mom said, “Tammy, that man is

homeless, he does not have a place to live like we do.” She went on explaining it to me,

so I would understand. I then said to my mom, “ I want to give that guy my baby blanket,

so he can stay warm.” I have never liked to see people in need or hurt. I felt so helpless,

so later in my life I figured out a way I could help people; I decided to become a nurse.

        Nurses help people in many ways. They not only help people physically, but they

also help them mentally. They care for people that are injured and sick by using their

knowledge and experience (“Nurses” 670). There are many fields of nursing in the world

today. However, the nursing field I am interested in is Pediatric nursing. “ Pediatric

nurses do not just care for infants, children, and adolescents they also lobby for special

health related needs. Pediatric nurses also have to help educate the parents on their

child’s illness”(Martin 1). Pediatric nursing interests me because I love to work with kids

of all ages and this field of nursing would allow me to work with kids and lots of them.

        When I began researching information on Pediatric nursing I was wanting to see

what all was involved. The three things I wanted to focus on the most was the schooling

it took to become a nurse, the job itself, like what opportunities you have and what hours

and pay you might receive, and most importantly I wanted to focus on what the nurse

does during a work day. All of these areas to me are important because they tell you

what life is like to be a Pediatric nurse.
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       Schooling is an important part of a career, definitely in the nursing field. Most

careers take schooling, some require it to be taken for many years, like eight and others

may require two years. To prepare for college high school students can volunteer in a

hospital or any other medical office. (“Nurses” 693). Volunteer work in a hospital is very

smart, because it allows the student to get a feel of what kind of work is expected. The

Occupational Outlook Handbook says “There are three pathways to becoming a nurse:

associates in nursing, bachelor of science degree in nursing, and diploma programs in

hospitals, which last two to three years” (Bogs 1). The associate degree programs are

looking for students with high school diplomas, and classes including English, Biology,

Chemistry, and Mathematics. They also might need a letter of recommendation or they

might be expected to take an entrance exam. Those are all things that are expected for an

associate’s degree. The bachelor degree programs generally require higher classes than

that of the associates (Boggs 1-2). Students planning to be a nurse must graduate from an

approved nursing program and are expected to pass a national licensed exam to get a

nursing license. All nurses must have supervised clinical experience in different

department’s (U.S. 269). There are other ways students can go through college and still

become a nurse:

       I started out in a semester course to get my Certified Nursing
       Assistant. I then spent two more weeks to get my Home Health
       Aid Certificate. I was getting my feet wet and making sure I
       wanted to be in the health care profession before I wasted a lot of
       money on college to decide I did not like the field. I then went
       through an eleven month program at Kansas City Area Vocational
       Technical School that prepared me to take the State Boards to get
       my Licensed Practical Nurse. I then went through another semester
       at Johnson County Community College to become IV certified. I
       worked three years and then made the tough decision to go back to
       school again. I am currently enrolled full-time at Penn Valley
       Community College getting my RN (Biswell).
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So there are many different ways to go through school and still become a nurse, some

might just take longer than others.

       In the nursing field there are lots of job opportunities available. “Nursing is the

largest health care occupation, there are 1,971,000 nurses in the U.S., according to the

Bureau of Labor Statistics” (Martin 2). “There are so many opportunities and so many

areas to specialize in. We are in a unique time right now, in that nursing is very much in

demand. I heard at work that it is projected by the year 2010 we will be 20,000 nurses

short” (Biswell). Pediatric nurses can work in all different kinds of medical facilities

(Martin 1). Two-thirds of today’s nurses work in a hospital (“Nurses” 691). In order to

advance in the administration and supervisory positions in nursing you have to have a

Bachelor of Science degree (“Nurses” 694). The nursing hours could be nine in the

morning to five in the afternoon or they may have to work nights and weekends. “Just

because my hours are seven at night to seven in the morning, does not mean that I am

able to leave at seven in the morning like I am scheduled. If a child is unstable or if I

have to do paper work, I need to stay until I am completely finished with my work” (qtd

Martin 1). Pediatric nurses earn anywhere from $415 to $1,039 a week. About $2,100 a

month. If you decide to become a pediatric nurse practitioner you could make about

$66,800 a year (Martin 2). In the nursing field the chance of advancement seems to be

good along with the hours the nurses work and their pay.

       Nurses have many responsibilities through out their day at work. They do a little

of everything. They work to keep kids healthy, help kids deal with their illness, and they

try to keep people from getting diseases or any other transmitted illnesses (U.S. 268).

Pediatric nurses have to assist physicians during and examination, or any treatments that
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the patient might require. They do all the follow ups to check on the patients progress in

recovering and to make sure they do not need anything (Martin 1). The hospitals, are

judged by the way the patient has received care, by the nurses and the doctors

(Wischnitzer 60). Being a Pediatric nurse is tough. The nurses have to put themselves in

the child’s place. Children spend most of their childhood learning how to be independent,

so the nurse is expected to give the child support to help the child recover. The nurse is

also expected to approach the child with a respectful attitude; the nurse will find that the

out come will be better. Nurses are not just there to help the child injured or sick they

also are expected to help the child’s close family or siblings if their state of mind is not

good. Pediatric nurses do not just work with children they also help adolescents. The

adolescent must establish its own value system, identity, and philosophy of life. The

nurse should try to assess the maturity of the teen but respect their autonomy as much as

possible, but try not to exclude the parent from making some decisions (Wischnitzer 154-

155). This is a little of what Pediatric nurses are responsible to do through out their day

at work.

       There are many stories out there about nurses and what they run into during a

days work. Being a nurse has some ups and downs but in all the work is rewarding.

       One of the most rewarding experiences was the first time I helped
       bring life into this world. I had never seen a delivery until I did my
       obstetrics rotation in school. I cried. I would have to say everyday is
       rewarding. Knowing that you are helping in some small way to
       improve a patient, is the quality of life. Health is the most important
       thing we are given as human beings. Without our health we have
       nothing. The first shots I ever had to give to a child were two twin girls.
       They were getting their immunizations for their kindergarten physical,
       which involves three to four shots a piece. It was three for them
       because this was back when you could give oral polio. I was shaking
       so, so, so bad. Of course I had to act confident. You never tell a patient
       this is your first time. Another nurse came in with me, so we could give
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       two shots at a time. The first little girl jumped when I put the needle in,
       causing the needle to come back out and I had to stick it in again. I will
       never forget that. They however did forget it and we developed a
       wonderful nurse to patient relationship (Biswell).

This goes to show how nursing may be a stressful job and not the easiest but it can also

be very rewarding.

       There are many fields of nursing in the world today to choose from but Pediatric

nursing is still the one that sounds the most interesting to me. I have always had a love

for children and to help people; so this is a way I can do both, be around children and

help them. Pediatric nursing is a very rewarding but challenging job. You get to help

people of all different age groups with all different kinds of illnesses. The hours that

nurses have to work might not be the best but in all the job is well worth it. Nursing is a

full time job. You have no time off of work. You will go home and find yourself helping

people out weather it is your family, friends, or maybe some random person on the streets

that is in need. You will also gain a nurse to patient relationship that will mean a lot to

your patient, it is something that they will never forget. There is a big chance that you

might just run into one of your patients perhaps at the grocery store and they will stop

you and say hi and introduce you to their family. When you become a nurse you life has

changed, not so much for the bad it is more for the good (Biswell). To me pediatric

nursing would be the most rewarding job and it is the field I feel I would enjoy the most.
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                                            Work Cited

Biswell, Brandi. Personal Interview. 10 July 2002.

Boggs, Will. “Nursing Programs.” cx.bridges.    (9 July 2002.)

Boyd, Joni. “Nurse-Joni Boyd” cx.bridges.   (9 July 2002.)

Martin, Heather. “Pediatric Nurse.” cx.bridge.   (9 July 2002.)

McLeish, Kendra and Bridges. Com staff. “Registered nurse.” cx.bridges.   (9 July 2002.)

“Nurses.” Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance. 1997 ed.

U.S. Department of Labor. “Registered Nurses.” Occupational Outlook Handbook 2000-

       2001. Indiana;JIST Works, Inc, 2000.

Wischnitzer, Dr. Saul and Edith Wischnitzer. “Caring For the Young.” Health care

       Careers for the 21st Century. 2002.

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