For those who love nursing and working with children, finding a career in pediatric nursing is the best of both worlds. While being a nurse of any kind is stressful, many take pleasure in being a caretaker—especially to children. As with any job, there are advantages and disadvantages of being a pediatric nurse; however, those who are nurturing and love helping others find that the advantages often outweigh the disadvantages.
Advantage: Working Closely with Children
Pediatric nurses often go into the field after they become a registered nurse (RN) because they love working with children and want to make them feel better. One advantage of being a pediatric nurse is the ability to work primarily alongside children, reassuring them when they are afraid of medical tests or even staying in the hospital. An additional advantage of working closely with children is that you can offer hope and care to the children you are treating.
Advantage: Improving a Child's Health
Nurses go into the health care field because they not only want to help others, they want to heal and treat those who are ill or in pain. One advantage of treating a sick child is that you are able to provide the proper treatment to help a child get better, which is rewarding. Giving children vaccinations or annual checkups helps keep a child healthy. Finally, knowing that a parent is reassured thanks to your work is a good feeling.
Disadvantage: Overbearing Parents
One disadvantage of pediatric nursing is dealing with parents that are excessively overbearing. In times of stress and worry, emotions run high. Sometimes these feelings may be directed toward nurses. Parents may feel that the nurses are not doing enough. They may feel that a son or daughter in pain is not getting enough attention, even after the nurses and physicians have administered the proper medications and treatment. Some pediatric nurses may also be in charge of children who have neglectful or disengaged parents. Often in such situations, there is little a pediatric nurse can do for a child outside of the health care facility, which can be difficult to experience.
Disadvantage: Patient Deaths
The death of a patient is never easy, but many feel that seeing a young child die is one of the worst disadvantages of being a pediatric nurse. Watching a child in pain from an injury or an illness is already difficult. Some nurses must deal with life-and-death emergency situations that could have been prevented with proper parenting or precautions. Watching a child pass away as a result of such situations is one of the most difficult aspects of being a pediatric nurse, according to pediatric nursing resource site Pediatric Nursing.