Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
There are nurses who would want to complete their working day with kids. Managing kids as patients can be both a joy and a pain. It may even call you to be skilful in interacting with them using the method of play therapy. Aside from the tantrums and cries you’ll get, what is more rewarding than seeing kids well and healthy?
So being a pediatric nurse practitioner is not just a job but as mix of skills and attitude. Patience for instance must be lengthened when dealing with kids. It is the nature of kids to be scared and looking for signs and symptoms on these patients needs a very good clinical eye. As the body of a child develops, growth changes must be taken note by a pediatric nurse. Aside from growing physically, paediatric nurses must also consider their growth cognitively and emotionally. A good guide through the growth and development that they undergo can be learned through basic nursing education up to master’s degree in nursing specializing in paediatric nursing.
A pediatric nurse practitioner is prepared to manage babies, adolescent and teenagers. Their focus on these three age groups covers in depth analysis of what is normal from what is not. Their roles in the lives of children are very important since the early stage of childhood is the building block of what they will be in the future. Pediatric nurse practitioners are registered nurses who choose to further their training and professional learning. Some even work with patients from age 0 to age 18. They witness different milestones and happening unique to each child. As each child is unique, they also plan a unique plan of care for each of them.
The starting point of being a pediatric nurse practitioner starts off with a humble beginning as a registered nurse. After completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, the candidate must then take a national board examination for nurses such as the NCLEX in order to be a licensed nurse. After that, further studies must also be taken with regards to concentration with Paediatrics. Clinical experience is also an edge for those who have exposed themselves in basic nursing care or even paediatric intensive care. A certification must be done by an aspiring nurse practitioner. For instance, in United States of America, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners is the mother organization that provides accreditation among certification centres.
Unique to the work of a paediatric nurse practitioner is that they concentrate on the anomalies and problems of children as well as their families. They have acquired advanced training in caring infants, children and adolescents. Here are some of the activities that a paediatric nurse practitioner might expect in the field:
- Conduct physical examination
- Formulate a diagnosis and plot out a treatment plan
- Request for diagnostic studies and interpret the results
- Give scheduled immunizations
- Promote lifestyle changes especially in children with problems like obesity
- Conduct family counselling
- Give health teachings or provide referrals if needed
- Encourage follow-up visitation and compliance to medications
- Visit communities for immunization programs and organize mobile health clinics
- Coordinate with specialists when a case must be referred
The number of pediatric nurse practitioners have increased as time goes by due to demands of physician’s presence. With the availability of registered nurses, advanced education was formed and given in order to widen the services nurses can bring. Physicians and nurse practitioners maintain a strong bond in terms of their work. Although their scope of tasks may overlap, physicians would always look at the patient in a medical perspective while nurse practitioners would always use the nursing process in meeting the needs of the children. In a simpler note, nurse practitioners prefer on health prevention and health promotion whereas paediatricians focus on the disease process and its treatment modalities.
The scope of being a pediatric nurse practitioner would be effective if parents or guardians of children are also open to participate in the plan of care. One of the best attitudes a nurse practitioner could have is to bring the family close in implementing the plan of care. Pediatric nurse practitioners have a lot to deal with children as well as to their parents as they are partners in the growth and development of children. This family-oriented care approach must be inculcated in the early years of the nurse practitioner. Pediatric nurse practitioners are placed in a work environment that really needs their expertise unique from a registered nurse. It is therefore a high demand to responds to that call in various settings.
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