Nursing is a rewarding yet challenging profession across the world. Nurses face challenges daily but it takes a skilled professional to be a successful pediatric nurse. Defining characteristics of a successful pediatric nurse in Canada are centred on offering patient-centric care.
A pediatric nurse must have technical skills, knowledge and resolve to do the job well. It is a lot more difficult to manage a child suffering healthcare distress than an adult. Hence, a pediatric nurse must possess some positive characteristics.
Whether you are thinking of completing nursing education to become a pediatric nurse or you are already one, you should know some characteristics of a successful pediatric nurse. Some of these traits apply to all nurses in general but many others are specific to nurses who treat children.
Before, moving on to know the characteristics, let us start by knowing who is a pediatric nurse?
Who is a Pediatric Nurse?
Pediatric nursing is a specialization focused on pediatrics and medical care of children from infancy to teenage years. This field is considered important because the health of children is different from adults. Children are more impressionable so the healthcare delivery services offered to them are sensitive.
Many students study nursing in Canada to become pediatric nurses. These nurses mostly work in multidisciplinary teams to offer the best medical care to children. They play an important role in monitoring the health of young patients by supporting them throughout.
Pediatric nurses administer childhood vaccinations and ensure that children keep well in accordance with the vaccine schedule. A pediatric nurse may commonly be involved in teaching child healthcare practices. They also conduct clinical research about health conditions that affect children commonly.
It must be noted that pediatric nurses have to develop unique skills useful in treating children. Working with children requires diagnostic insights and hence, pediatric nurses must develop skills that can support them in doing their job.
Characteristics of a Successful Pediatric Nurse:
- Calmness: Each day, pediatric nurses do a lot from listening to doctors, tending to young patients, and managing parents. Moreover, the children’s ward is a loud place where working all day is not easy. In this scenario, if something goes wrong and nurses get anxious, the stress might easily transfer to pediatric patients.
Hence, a pediatric nurse must possess a calm demeanour. This is an important and influential factor. A suitable trait for pediatric nurses is the ability to stay calm even in stressful situations. This calmness relays to the children and their families as well.
- Positivity: Just as anxiety can create unwanted stress, pessimism can do the same. In fact, being negative can be infectious like a virus. Even little psychological stress can stop the healing process. This is all the more true for pediatric patients healing from injuries.
Pediatric nurses are taught the importance of positivity right from the time they pursue their nursing study in Canada.
It is important to understand that children pick up on emotions quickly. They also catch words subconsciously. So any kind of negativity during the treatment can invariably affect them. Having a calm, composed, and peaceful presence can help while interacting with patients.
- Light Heartedness: Pediatric nurses must get along with kids seamlessly. They must have a natural affinity with the younger patients so that the treatment becomes easy. This way, it will be easy to develop techniques that distract children and keep them calm as well.
When the children are sick, pediatric nurses can bring light heartedness into their lives and help them relax. Fun distractions and playfulness can also make children feel at peace. Keeping a playful attitude is another skill taught to pediatric nurses during their nursing education.
Staying stuck in bed and being wired to machines is difficult for children. No matter how important these measures may be, they are trouble for children. In this difficult treatment process, meeting nurses can bring normalcy and fun to their lives. Playfulness can help them feel that there is a world beyond medications and breathing treatments.
Each day can be fun and special. Some of the best nursing qualities a pediatric nurse can have are a sense of humour and a willingness to be playful. Things such as telling a joke, singing a song, pulling funny faces are all examples of light heartedness. That said, it must be ensured that the patient is receptive and there is a balance between playtime and treatment.
- Empathy: A pediatric nurse must be empathetic. A cold attitude cannot get you through pediatric nursing even if you are having a bad day. Being warm and welcoming towards children and parents helps in becoming more comfortable with nurses.
In a setting such as homecare, empathy is all the more important. A cold attitude while treating a sick child at home can be a deal breaker for parents. The situation is extremely personal and it is important that a caregiver feels the same way.
Hence, a pediatric nurse must be sympathetic and warm towards the family members of the child. This is an important skill that can make a pediatric nurse successful in moving ahead.
- Endurance: Seeing their child struggle with a disease can be difficult for parents and family members. However, it shouldn’t be undermined that it is equally difficult for pediatric nurses to see these children suffer.
Amidst taking care of children and calming down their family members, pediatric nurses must have a strong endurance. Nursing education teaches students to be mentally and emotionally strong to deal with the circumstances.
The pediatric nurses who are able to navigate through this effortlessly, have a high level of emotional intelligence. Other than the emotional wear and tear, it can be physically demanding to deal with long shifts and workloads. It takes a dedicated nurse to do the job successfully day after day.
- Emotional Stability: Similar to having strong endurance, one must also be emotionally stable. This is another important quality for a caregiver because it helps to be calm in times of turmoil.
Pediatric nurses must know that crisis is inherent in healthcare. Hence, they are supposed to be equipped to handle any problematic situation. Things can be particularly challenging when the problem falls on the shoulders of little children.
Pediatric nurses are responsible for offering effective care to patients along with offering an assurance to the family members. Therefore, they must be calm and emotionally stable so that they can perform the task at hand.
- Dedication: To provide healthcare services consistently, one must be completely dedicated to the patients. Being dedicated plays an important role in the pursuit of quality care. All prominent nurses have been dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the field.
It is also notable that the healthcare industry is detail-driven. In particular, the field of paediatrics requires a nurse to be extremely detail-driven and dedicated. This is because even a small error in dosage can have a serious impact on the patient.
There is a prominent connection between dedication and the quality of care that they offer. Dedication also helps nursing professionals to understand patient preferences, identify care issues and health conditions, see changes in patients, and create a strong connection.
Dedication also fosters better morale amongst co-workers and team members while improving patient care outcomes. Other nurses also get inspired to do their work dedicatedly.
- Patience: A pediatric nurse does not lose patience when things do not turn out according to plan. Being a pediatric nurse can be tough because very often children do not explain how they are feeling.
Parents are often sleep-deprived and doctors rush in and out without listening to what the medical team wants to say. It takes experience and patience to make sense of signs that patients show. Especially when the patients are children with undeveloped communication skills, it can be even more difficult.
Pediatric patients are likely to get scared or distracted because of their surroundings, which makes it difficult to get simple answers. Patience is not so easy to come by, but nurses eventually learn how to curb stress with experience. It is for this reason that students are instructed to cultivate patience right when they start their nursing study in Canada.
The main role of a pediatric nurses is to offer primary care for children from birth to becoming young adults. Pediatric nursing is a difficult profession but it is also rewarding if you have the skills to become successful. The qualities mentioned above are important for a pediatric nurse practitioner. Either the skills come naturally to you or you can develop them over time.