Ashwill, Jean Weiler and Droske,
Susan Colvert. Nursing Care of Children.
Principles and Practice, Philadelphia, W. B.
Saunders Company, 1997.
Dearmun, Annette K. Nursing
Standard 13(27):59. 1999 March.
Kuntz, KR. Pediatric nursing
BY CYNTHIA RICH SCHMUS, BSN, RN resources in cyberspace. Journal of the
Society of Pediatric Nurses. 3(4):155-160,
t was the first morning of my stu- Nethercott, Sally. Child support.
dent clinical rotation at the Chil- 13(17):58, January 1999.
dren’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I
had chosen pediatrics for my as crucial to the child’s recovery. Advo- juice, and immediately chewed a piece
advanced clinical in the fall of my cacy is an important aspect of the of gum to get rid of the taste. The
Journal of Pediatric Nursing
senior year as an undergraduate nurse’s role. For example, if a child must intervention provided a creative solu-
Journal of the Society of Pediatric Nurses
because I was sure my future was in undergo numerous diagnostic tests, the tion that worked.
Pediatric Nursing-AJJ, Inc.
adult medical/surgical nursing. Why nurses should always consider how to The following considerations are
The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Newsletter
not get the pediatric clinical over with coordinate the tests in the best interests useful when considering a career in
and focus on adults? That was where of the child, causing as little physical or pediatrics:
the real excitement would be, right? emotional distress as possible. 1. Children look up to nurses as
Little did I know, my future plans were Pediatric nurses seek the least inva- caregivers, teachers, and comforters.
about to change. sive and least painful methods of med- Be sure you are comfortable in these roles. RESOURCES
The hospital lobby was full of ication administration. Ideal candidates 2. Try caring for kids and see if you
excitement that day: kids in wheel- for pediatric nursing should love chil- enjoy it. Volunteer on a pediatric unit Society of Pediatric
chairs racing toward the cafeteria ... dren, be flexible, empathic, and enjoy at a local hospital, at a daycare center,
bald children with huge smiles ... a lit- daily challenges. Compassion and up- at a summer camp for sick or chronical-
neglect, and access to health My niche is pediatric oncology, and to-date clinical knowledge are musts. ly ill children, or in0 an extern program 2170 S. Parker Road #350
tle girl with a nasogastric tube coloring care, so they must possess a I find that the challenges of dealing The challenges I face each day keep at a children’s hospital. Denver, CO 80231
in the waiting room of a nearby clinic keen awareness of legal and with chronically ill children and their me going. Pediatric nurses must under- 3. Take a child development course 800-723-2902
... babies being rocked to sleep in the ethical issues. families are very rewarding. There is to help broaden your understanding of
quiet corner of a family lounge. That
was it for me! I looked around and 4. See life through the eyes of the
children while providing their
nothing more moving than effectively
managing a child’s pain, or more
If you enjoy the issues.
4. Network with pediatricians, nurse
knew the excitement was here. In pedi- care and helping their family rewarding than teaching the family creative practitioners, and child life therapists, National Association of Pediatric
atrics, the nurse not only touches the members learn to cope. how to care for a sick child at home.
child’s life, but the family, the commu- Remember that kids will be kids, and Reintegration back into the school
problem solving, and get a sense of their daily lives. Nurse Associates and Practitioners,
nity, and all those involved in helping 5. Expect the unexpected, and Inc. (NAPNAP)
children reach their maximum health
sick kids will still be kids. I am always environment is also a hurdle many fam- pediatrics expect to be fulfilled. 1101 Kings’ Highway N. Suite 206
struck by how unaffected most children ilies face. I have been able to speak to We touch the future when we reach
and potential. I chose pediatrics for the are by their illness. For example, kids the classmates of some of my clients on is ideal. out to the tiny hands of children, and
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-1912
challenges, the unpredictability, and eat, even with tubes in the way. Kids this topic, serving as a positive role this makes pediatric nursing a phenom- 856-667-1773
the chance to work with families in run, even with crutches. Kids smile, model for nursing to future generations. stand how illness affects children physi- enal specialty. This year, I will graduate www.napnap.org
making a difference in children’s lives. even after a painful or scary procedure. Pediatric nursing presents unique cally, emotionally, and psychologically. from a masters program in the acute
The following issues are helpful to keep Kids play amidst the IV poles and the challenges in that children have such If you enjoy creative problem solv- and chronic care of children, and I will
in mind when considering a career in monitors. I often find it is the parents Association of Pediatric Oncology
rapidly growing and changing bodies. ing, pediatrics is ideal. For example, I become a pediatric nurse practitioner.
pediatric nursing. who are devastated by the impact of an Nurses (APON)
The pediatric nurse assesses the child as once had a four-year-old patient who This is a testimony of my lifelong com-
1. Growth and development are the
foundation on which nurses
illness, while the child lives one day at
a unique individual who may require
specialized equipment, special monitor-
refused to take her oral prednisone for mitment to working with children. I www.apon.org
her leukemia because she hated the hope that many of you will make the
provide guidance and care at Pediatric nursing is a specialty ing, and specific medication dosages. taste. I tasted it for her, and agreed it same commitment, and discover the Association of Pediatric
each developmental stage. They encompassing the care of children, ado- In pediatric care, whether in hospitals, tasted awful! Her parents and I tried wonderful specialty that awaits you.
influence every nurse-child lescents and their families in a variety clinics, long-term care facilities, or Gastroenterology and Nutrition
everything short of placing an NG tube
interaction. of settings. The age range in pediatrics community or health care agencies, to administer the medication. Then I The author is a clinical nurse on the oncology Nurses (APGNN)
2. Family centered care is the hall-
mark of pediatrics. The nurse
is from newborns to age eighteen.
Common childhood diagnoses include
teamwork is critical, and nurses manage
the team and coordinate the child’s
remembered that four-year-olds want to
be independent, so we came up with a
and bone marrow transplant unit at the
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,
cares for the child within both acute and chronic illnesses, from care. Nowhere is the concept of plan. Taking the prednisone was not Philadelphia, PA. A graduate of Villanova Association of Camp Nurses
diverse family structures and ear, nose and throat infections, to asth- patient/family centered care so vital. negotiable; however, she could choose University, she is a student in the Pediatric
addresses the needs of siblings. ma, to growth and development issues. Most importantly, the nurse works www.campnurse.org
how to take it as creatively as she Nurse Practitioner Program at the University
3. Nurses are responsible for child
advocacy in areas such as abuse,
Chronic illness is also a major subspe-
cialty in pediatrics.
collaboratively at all times with the
family and recognizes family members
wished. She mixed the medication with
vanilla ice cream, chased it with grape
of Pennsylvania. She was the 1988-1989
38 JANUARY 2000 http://www.nsna.org NSNA/IMPRINT 39