A pediatric nurse practitioner is a registered nurse and nurse practitioner with advanced training in pediatrics and can provide nursing care to infants, children and adolescents. The pediatric nurses perform physical exams, diagnose injuries and many common illnesses and have the training to provide the treatment procedures, therapies and medication necessary for the child. They order specific lab tests and diagnostic testing, such as x-rays, blood tests and laboratory tests when needed. Trained to give immunizations, they also manage their patient’s problems, such as juvenile diabetes and other conditions.
They provide education, support and health care counseling to the families of their patients and answer any questions or address any concerns the family has regarding the child. Pediatric nurse practitioners get great satisfaction knowing that they make a difference, by identifying and caring for their patient problems, giving them counseling and information to the family or patient. This helps the patient and family deal with often, very stressful and difficult situations. They use data received from diagnostic tests, clinical exams, verbal communication, medical records and other sources to make decisions that are evidence based and meet their patients care requirements.
A pediatric nurse practitioner must be a problem solver and critical thinker with decision-making skills and able to work well under pressure. They work in many healthcare settings such as healthcare institutions, community or private hospitals, private nursing, schools, children’s hospital and specialty clinics. They work closely with other healthcare professionals such as pediatric physicians, nurses and the patient’s family doctor
Common work activities include:
- Meeting with patients and their families to discuss issues with regards to treatment options, supporting patient recovery and understanding the condition of the child.
- Gathering information for patient records, family histories or other documents as required.
- Performing basic medical examinations including blood tests, urine samples, blood pressure, heart and lung functioning. Requesting the appropriate lab tests.
- Reading and interpreting lab results in conjunction with the child’s treatment team.
- Following up on medications, treatments or other procedures under the direction of the treating physician.
- Organizing vaccination programs, health clinics and specific information programs for parents and patients.