Pediatric nurse practitioners are trained nurses who work under the wings of pediatricians to provide assistance with patients from infancy to young adulthood. Some pediatric nurse practitioners also run their own clinics where they diagnose and treat young patients for chronic, acute and critical conditions.
Working as a pediatric nurse practitioner means that you have to be on your toes all the time. Patience is a virtue while working at this position, as you often have to deal with situations that may get out of hand due to the age of the patients you will be treating. Depending on whether you will be working independently or under the supervision of a pediatrician, your responsibilities may vary.
To be considered eligible for a pediatric nurse practitioner position, you have to possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing along with a license to work in the state where you reside. In addition to this, you might have to take up additional courses in child psychology and health, depending on who your employer is. Some experience in working in pediatrics will of course come in handy, as you will know exactly how to handle children and young adults in the medical sense. Working as a pediatric nurse practitioner means that you will have to be exceptionally well-versed in handling adverse situations such as medical emergencies. The ability to develop and implement interventions is exceptionally important if this is the type of work that you are looking into.
A general list of duties that a pediatric nurse practitioner performs are given below:
• Check calendars to determine which patients are scheduled for appointments
• Go through patients’ files and medical histories before they arrive in a bid to recall treatments and diagnosis
• Confer with patients’ parents or guardians to determine medical problems
• Examine patients to decipher medical issues and provide recommendations to consult with a pediatrician for escalated cases
• Order tests to determine acute, chronic and critical illnesses and interpret results accurately
• Consult with supervising pediatricians regarding illnesses and diseases, to come up with viable medical solutions
• Create and implement individualized plans of nursing care for assigned patients
• Assist pediatricians in performing physical examinations and by providing historical insights regarding each patient
• Prescribe medication and therapy options to patients and their families and assist them in making viable choices
• Ascertain that all patients and families understand diagnosed illnesses by ensuring that they are given the right educational briefs