Pediatric Clinicals

Pediatric clinical rotation will prepare a nursing student for providing medical care and education about diseases and treatment plans to young patients. Children are not just small adults; their bodies work in different ways. The fact that children are still growing, the impact of the illness or injury on their developmental status has to be taken into account. And because they are young, they may be more scared or confused by what is happening to them then what the outcome is. That's why they need pediatric nurses who understand their particular needs.

Students should keep in mind that children have parents and siblings who are all involved.  Children's nurses work closely with patient's families as part of the treatment process. One of the most things you may see yourself doing is sharing your nursing skills with other. Your job is to give the child's family the confidence and ability to continue with the caring role while at home. A pediatric nurse will know when to stand back and when to take-over if necessary when teaching patient’s and families certain skills. It requires a special set of attitudes, patience and open mindedness to care for pediatric patients.

All nursing students are required to complete pediatric clinicals. However, not all students are interested in caring for pediatric patients and dealing with the families. This is the time to suck it up and get through this rotation with flying colors. Even though you may not want to be in this specialty after graduation, it will be a good experience and you will still learn a lot. Medications play a big part in pediatric nursing, so learning how to calculate pediatric dosage problems while in class is important.

In order to prepare for clinicals you will still need everything that you use for adult health. Always carry black ink pens, sharpie, pen light, second hand watch, and a stethoscope and plenty of patience. The day before clinicals, your instructor will tell you what patient’s you will have. Sometimes a peer in your group will be assigned as a team leader, they must drive to the hospital the day before and get patient information in order to assign then to students. If this is the situation, don’t be afraid to tell the team leader or your clinical instructor that you would like to start off with a certain type of patient. For example, if you are not comfortable with handling newborns, you may want to request a toddler patient first. That way, you can get used to communicating and being around a child. Usually by the time clinicals are over with, you will be confident enough to handle a newborn.

Pediatric clinicals mostly entails doing a lot of physical assessments, reading growth charts, giving intravascular medications and changing diapers. There are a lot of rules and regulations that you will have to adhere to, depending on the type of facility. Your lecture classes should correspond with what type diseases and diagnosis you will come in contact with at the hospital. If you enjoy working with babies and toddlers, you will feel right at home and have a great pediatric rotation.

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