Hey everyone, I’m Valeria,
I’m a pediatric nurse and while a lot of people say, “Pediatric nursing must be so much fun”, which for the most part is true, seeing aswe get to play with kids, have moviesplaying for the kids during every shift, etc. I also have to do things to little kiddos that scare them to pieces.
I wear scary PPE suits and masks (to prevent spreading of infections), poke them with needles on their chests that are as long as your middle finger (yes, I know that is HUGE!) and I hold them down during loud, long treatments: respiratory, PIV’s, dressing changes, within others. If that wasn’t enough, most of the shifts I requirethem to take medicine that sometimes causes them to throw up and feel sicker for hours, before they feel better.
The most challenging part of being a pediatric nurse has to be the fact that we get assigned 3-4 patients: 1 nurse ratio plus mom, dad, siblings, grandparents and sometimes even aunts and uncles to 1 nurse. Parents can decipher and explain every single move, and as a nurse that’s been one of the biggest helpers when things go south. Just as helpful as parents are, they can also be an added stress during our shifts: they question every procedure, Google things more than they should, and want answers from every single nurse and physician who is available during the shift. I’m not a parent myself, but I can’t blame parents for being parents- those are their little ones and it does take a great deal of patience, trust and effort to allow a stranger to take care of their little ones during the worst days of their entire lives.
Although, over the last three years, I’ve gained some unexpected perks:
Parents use me as a middleman between them and the physicians.
I have advanced my communication skills from a shy little new grad nurse to politely raising my voice when something needs immediate attention.
I’ve learned how to become the best distractor when it comes to switching quickly from a squirt of medicine and a squirt of juice so that there is no after taste.
I’ve converted into a ninja (during night shifts) who never turns lights on when she is inside the room doing assessments, vitals and procedures.
Pediatric Nursing is truly a fun filled job, but acknowledging the difficulties that come with the profession should not go unnoticed. Such that its not always fun and games.
But these are tiny humans. They believe in magic, they play pretend, they hope and they cross their fingers to make wishes— which makes them more resilient, and in turn has taught me that anything is possible
Los Angeles, CA