Characteristics of a Successful Pediatric Nurse

December 3, 2014
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pediatric nurseWhile the medical field is among the most challenging professions, and each healthcare professional faces very real and difficult challenges, it takes a special kind to be a pediatric nurse.

pediatric nurseWhile the medical field is among the most challenging professions, and each healthcare professional faces very real and difficult challenges, it takes a special kind to be a pediatric nurse. Not only does it require technical skill, the right temperament, and a propensity for patient-centered care, but there is a certain level of resolve that is necessary to do the job well. Having personally been through a traumatic experience with my infant niece and observing those who cared for her, I can personally attest to the many positive characteristics these caretakers possess. I will explore a few of the qualities that stood out to me most throughout my niece’s illness.

Empathy

Particularly in home care, empathy is of the utmost importance. When you are in a home, treating a child, a cold, off-putting attitude can be a deal breaker for parents and loved ones. The situation is extremely personal to them, and it is important to them that their caregiver feels the same way, to a degree. There is a certain amount of professional separation that is necessary, but being sympathetic and warm towards the families Is an important characteristic for a pediatric nurse.

Communication

When you’re going through a health scare with a loved one, particularly an infant, it can be difficult to fully understand what is happening, and very easy to feel out of control. It is important for the medical staff to be able to effectively communicate what the child is going through, and how they are being treated. Parents are naturally protective of their little ones, and they need to understand that you know what is wrong, and are doing all you can to address the issue and help their baby recover.

Endurance

As hard as these issues can be for parents and loved ones to deal with, those who care for these sick children deal with these types of trying circumstances over and over again. It can be difficult to balance being empathetic and caring, to becoming mentally and emotionally overwhelmed by your circumstances. The caregivers who are best able to navigate this are those with a high degree of emotional intelligence.  In addition to the emotional wear and tear of the job, it can also be quite physically demanding due to long shifts, work load etc. It takes a dedicated, and motivated individual to do the job successfully day after day.

Emotional Stability

Similar to the need for endurance is the need for emotional stability. It is important for a quality caregiver to be able to remain calm in times of turmoil. Crisis is inherent in health care, and those in the healthcare profession need to be equipped to handle these types of situations. These situations can be especially scary when they happen to small children, but in order to provide effective care for the patient, and assurance to their families, it is important to remain calm and perform the task at hand. 

Dedication

In order to provide the type of care consistently that these patients need, it is important to be truly dedicated to your patients, and the pursuit of quality care. If you look at prominent nurses throughout history, each of them was truly dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the field.

Those who deal in pediatric care truly do need to possess a unique skill set. Those whom I observed during my family’s medical scare were truly some of the strongest, most capable and caring individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. While it certainly isn’t easy to do the job, it makes a tremendous difference in the lives of children and their families. I know it did for me. 

pediatric nurse / shutterstock

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