Pediatric nursing is the practice of nursing with children, youth, and their families across the health continuum, including health promotion, illness management, and health restoration (Taylor, 2006). Pediatric nursing is not only centered on child care, but involves the well being of the family. A few roles of pediatric nursing include having good interacting skills, good empathy, and immense love for children, flexibility, having control over your emotions, and having good stress management (Pediatric Nurse).
Personal Interests for this Role
One of the main reasons I have chosen to learn more about this nursing role is because of my awe-inspiring desire to care for children. I believe being a pediatric nurse would give me the opportunity to not only teach children to better care for themselves, but would also enable me to act as a role model. Pediatric nursing will require a high level of responsibility because unlike many of the other nursing fields, not only is the patient depending on me to make sensible decisions the family is also going to be a concern. While some other professional fields enable you to work with children, nursing will let me work with children while also obtaining a higher level of income. Pediatric nursing also interests me because I can work in many settings including pediatric clinics, children hospitals, family practices, nursing administration, and in the academic world (Pediatric Nurse Information). While the core decision for nursing is the benefits and salary, being able to send a child home with his/her family safe and sound would add a supreme feeling of accomplishment.
The History behind the Role
Pediatric nursing did not evolve as a specialty in the United States until the late 19th century. Many families of this period could not meet the expense of medical care and relied on mostly folk medicine. Pediatric nursing was “put on the map” around 1855 in the United States, with the found of the first children’s hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was a good time to open a child care facility since it had also just opened its nursing school and was teaching child care how they believed it should be taught. The hospital provided home care and revolved its improved child care around research. Later several hospitals were opened in many of the major cities in the United States (Taylor, 2006).
Private duty nurses also specialized in child care. They played a big role in the “child saving moment” in the early 20th century. Nurses were also involved in a federal program that aided them in improving child care. Lillian Wald and Mary M. Brewster lived and worked as nurses in New York around 1893, and in 1895, they opened up the Nurses Settlement House. By 1909, thirty seven nurses were employed, which allowed for more nurse’s training, obstetrical services, first aid homes, and educational programs for the communities. Wald also played a role in the development of school nursing. In 1923, the committee for the Study of Nursing Education in the United States, which is a document referred to as the Goldmark Report. This report gave a more coherent thought behind nursing school’s teaching agenda and set a strengthened program. It gave an alternative source of education for those wanting to enter the nursing field. This helped with the direct involvement of pediatric nursing’s movement toward advanced degrees and practices. The new research reflected the changing of many issues, including family involvement in child care. It gave nurses a chance to educate poor children about good health habits without parent hindrance. Later in the century; however, Florence Blake demonstrated the optimistic effects of family centered child care. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koops, helped with the push towards family centered care with community based family centered care. Family centered care developed the present-day pediatric nursing role to include the new theories of multi-cultural care and family theory (Taylor, 2006).
Educational and Training Requirements
There are a few requirements that shall be met before successfully becoming a pediatric nurse. The first step would be to obtain a degree in nursing from an endorsed institution. The next step would be to get your nursing license. The last requirement would be to gain pediatric nursing experience. If the pediatric nurse wanted to go further in his/her career, they could acquire a master’s of science in nursing, which would look good on a resume. A pediatric nurse must hold an associates or bachelor’s degree in nursing. The nurse must have successfully completed the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse) to become licensed and work as a pediatric nurse. (Pediatric Nurse Information).
Accountability of this Role
According to the Scope and Standards of Practice for Pediatric Nursing, there are ten main standards of professional performance a nurse should follow. These roles include: quality of care, performance appraisal, outcomes of measurement, education, collegiality, ethics, collaboration, research and clinical scholarship, and leadership professional accountability. The advanced practice nurse in pediatrics should serve in leadership positions, serve as role models or mentors to other pediatric nurses, participate in family oriented research, and ensure a practice based on evidence. Eventually, nurses who pursue these activities will become more adherent towards the accountability to themselves, patients, and peers of their profession career (Association, 2008). From the American Nurses Association in the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, accountability means to be answerable to oneself and others for one’s own actions. In order to be accountable, nurses act under a code of ethical conduct that is grounded in the moral principles of fidelity and respect for the dignity, worth, and self determination of patients. Nurses are accountable for judgments made and actions taken in the course of nursing practice irrespective of health care organizations’ policies or providers’ directives (section 4.2, paragraph 1).
Scope of Practice for this Role
The roles of the pediatric nurse are diverse and dynamic. On the most universal level, a pediatric nurse is a licensed registered nurse who has displayed knowledge within the specialty and clinical skills. Some of the standards set forth by the health resource and services administration maternal and child health bureau as applied to the beginning practitioner are the care of children in the environment of their families, sensitivity to cultural issues, effective, child communication, injury prevention and safety, promotion of child health in family situations, and ethical moral and legal dilemmas involving children, families, and health care professionals. The inpatient setting presents one of the most assorted opportunities for applying the role of child health care provider (Association, 2008).
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