When you are exploring the many nuances of a career as a paediatric nurse one thing you are likely to hear above all is how rewarding it can be to work with children. While that is very true, it is equally important not to underestimate the intrinsic challenges involved in working with children. As a paediatric nurse, you will work with children across a wide age range, from infants to adolescents and this is not as straightforward as it may seem. Each age group presents its own unique set of challenges. If you are considering a career as a paediatric nurse, it is vital to know what’s in store and to be prepared. Here are a few things you should think about. Only Consider This Specialty If… You Like Being Around Children This may seem like a trivial point to make but it is surprising how many individuals tend to overlook this tiny but crucial detail. Most nurses may choose this career path because they feel dealing with children is easier than dealing with adults. Others choose this path with visions of smiling children and lots of fun and games in the children’s ward. This is a huge mistake. Taking care of small children can be as difficult and as heartbreaking as any other medical specialty – sometimes more so. Kids can often be a handful and more often than not, they aren’t always the most cooperative. Being around children non-stop for hours on end, trying to cajole them and getting them to cooperate can be overwhelming and extremely stressful. Only someone who likes being around children, understands and accepts their nature and spontaneity and has the patience that is needed to deal with them should consider pursuing any paediatric specialty. You Know How to Communicate With Kids One of the most common reasons why children are reluctant to go for any medical treatment is because of poor communication. Many doctors and nurses do not take the time and trouble to make their paediatric patients comfortable and instead talk above their heads directly to their patients. This naturally results in misunderstanding and fear. As a paediatric nurse, taking the time to communicate with your little patients and helping them understand their situation can ease their apprehension and make their visit much more pleasant for everyone involved. You Understand That Every Child Is Different There is no one tried and tested manner that works best with all children. Some children are more fearful and require additional cajoling and comforting, whereas others may be more curious and want answers to several different questions. You will need to assess every child and interact with them in a way that best meets their comfort level. Patience and a friendly manner are vital traits in a paediatric nurse. You Understand That Dealing With Patients’ Families Is An Unavoidable Aspect Of The Job Another important aspect of paediatric nursing is that it is very rare that you will be dealing solely with the child. Most times, you will also be dealing with child’s parents or guardians. This means you will have to be able to multi task while delivering medication, information, comfort and expertise all at the same time to your patients and their families as well. Eye-opening hospital work experience International hospital shadowing for school and university students Find out more You might also be interested in ... Is paediatrics the right specialty for you?