'Pediatrics' comes from the Greek words 'pedia' which means child, 'iatrike' which means treatment and 'ics' which means branch of science. This means Pediatric nursing is the science of child care and scientific treatment of childhood. This branch of medical science deals with the care of children from conception to adolescence in health care.
Training in the United States
The CPN (certified pediatric nurse) exam validates knowledge and expertise of pediatric nurses beyond basic RN licensure. Eligible RNs may have a diploma, associate's degree, BSN, MSN, or higher nursing degree and must have a minimum of 1800 hours of pediatric nursing experience. Over 20,000 nurses actively hold CPN certification. All pediatric nurses begin their career by becoming registered nurses (RN). Additional training specific to the care of children is then required. Training involves a mix of formal education and clinical experiences. Pediatric nurses can become certified in the field and may choose to further specialize. Students can enroll in an associate or bachelor's degree program in nursing. Some diploma programs offered exclusively through hospitals may also prepare students for the RN exam. Possible undergraduate paths could be to receive:
Associate of Science
An Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) is a 2-year, undergraduate degree program that is designed to prepare students for entry into the nursing workforce. Students are introduced to a variety of nursing topics, including human disease processes, maternal nursing and human anatomy. Some general education courses, such as psychology and oral communication, may also be required.
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a 4-year, undergraduate degree program that offers students a comprehensive nursing education and prepares them to take the RN certifying exam. Courses are offered on a number of specialized topics, including pediatric nursing and ethics in professional nursing. Many BSN students are working nurses who already hold their RN certification.
Pediatric nurses often assist doctors by providing medical care and information about diseases and treatment plans to their young patients. They can be found working in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. Depending on each patient's particular treatment plan, pediatric nurses job duties may include administering medications, placing intravenous (IV) lines on patients, and administering other kinds of therapies.
In many cases, general pediatric nurses plan and provide long-term treatment for young patients. Though pediatric care may signal the notion that these nurses work with kids only, pediatric nurses also care for patients up to 21 years old. Pediatric nurses consult with patients and their families to develop and maintain healthy living habits, modifying health goals as necessary. Depending on their experience level, additional pediatric nurse duties may include:
Screening for disease
The responsibilities of those in pediatric nursing may vary based on work setting and specialty. In hospital settings, pediatric nurses typically document patient progress through careful record keeping, notifying doctors in the event of any changes in a patient's situation. General pediatric nurses often assist doctors by checking vital signs, drawing blood, giving vaccinations, and taking patient histories during their visits.
- Normalize the life of the child in the family home, school and community.
- Minimize the impact of the child's unique condition.
- Foster maximal growth and development.
- Develop realistic, functional and coordinated home care plans for the children and families.
- Respect the roles of the families in the care of their children.
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- "Pediatric Nursing Certificate Board". Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "Pediatric Nursing Education and Training Program Information". study.com. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "Pediatric Nursing Job Duties, Responsibilities and Career Options". www.study.com. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "Continuum Pediatric Nursing". www.continuum.com. Retrieved 27 March 2015.