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Pediatric Nursing Job Duties, Career Options and Responsibilities

Job Descriptions February 8, 2013

Pediatric nurses are usually registered nurses that provide health care to children and adolescents. Pediatric nurses play a role in supporting adolescent patients and their families by explaining treatment options, patients’ conditions, and providing emotional support. There are several career options for pediatric nurses that encompass a variety of responsibilities and duties.

Job Duties of Pediatric Nurse

Doctors often seek the assistance of pediatric nurses who provide medical care and information about treatment plans and diseases to young patients. They are typically employed in private practices, clinics and hospitals. A patients’ specific treatment plan influences a pediatric nurse’s job responsibilities during the course of which this professional could administer medications, place intravenous (IV) lines on young patients, and administer other types of therapies.

In several instances, general pediatric nurses are involved in planning and providing long-term care for young patients. The work completed by pediatric nurses is not restricted to young children; they also provide health care to patients as old as twenty-one years of age. Pediatric nurses provide patients and their families help in developing and maintaining healthy living habits, and modify health goals if and when required. It depends on pediatric nurse experience level; additional pediatric nurse responsibilities could include:

•Prescribing medications
•Diagnosing illnesses
•Screening for disease
•Child immunizations
•Conducting physicals

Responsibilities of Pediatric Nurse

The responsibilities for these professionals depend on their area of specialization and the work settings in which they are employed. Those employed in hospitals keep documentary track of a patient’s progress; to this end, they keep meticulous records and advise doctors about changes, if any, on the patient’s condition. General pediatric nurses also help doctors in other ways; they check vital signs, draw blood, give vaccinations and take patient histories.

Specialized Responsibilities

When working at private practices or on patient care teams, pediatric nurses will specialize in the care of children. Pediatric nurses could develop youth care programs, provide professional consultations, and educate and teach. Their job responsibilities could cross into other territories regarding health of adolescent patient even though they specialize in childcare. For instance, pediatric nurses can help parents deal with their troubled teenagers, educating new mothers on breastfeeding techniques, or create exercise programs and at-home diet plans for obese children.

Career Options for Pediatric Nurse

Aspiring pediatric nurses have many career options. General practice pediatric nurses are typically registered nurses that received on-the-job training working with adolescent according to the Society of Pediatric Nurses (www.pedsnurses.org). They obtain their registered nurse credentials via a nursing board exam known as the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). By earning certifications and completing additional academic coursework, general pediatric nurse can become and advanced practice nurse like clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP).

Clinical Nurse Specialist in Pediatrics (CNS)

Adolescents, children and infants suffering from acute or chronic conditions and illnesses are usually cared for by clinical nurse specialist in pediatrics. These professionals focus on treating special needs children, developmentally disabled patients and oncology patients, among other young patients who have special needs. They are licensed registered nurses that have completed an advanced degree program on a physiological, developmental, or physical pediatric need.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner candidates receive training in managing, preventing and assessing diseases. PNPs are frequently involved in the provision of primary healthcare for children in pediatric medical offices, hospitals and clinical settings, apart from intensive care units and surgical centers. PNPs usually major in pediatric areas or specific illnesses, such as neonatal care or acute care.

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