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Looking to advance your nursing career as a paediatric nurse? Paediatric nursing is a rewarding job with numerous benefits, however, this profession can be quite a challenge and has its drawbacks as well.
Find out what paediatric nursing entails, what are its benefits and downsides, and if this healthcare position is best suited for you.
A paediatric nurse specialises in providing nursing care for infants, young children, and adolescent patients who are ill and need special care. You are responsible for executing the nursing plan, coordinating with other health professionals, providing medication or therapies, and monitoring the patient’s responsiveness to the treatment. Your duties can be as simple as administering vaccines or immunizations to assisting in critical situations.
Paediatric nurses may choose to specialise on roles that involve working in intensive care units, oncology units or in mental health and development units.
It is within the standard of the Australian health care system that the patients receive medical care with dignity and respect, thus treatment and nursing care should be centred on the family’s beliefs, values, and culture. In line with this, it is essential for paediatric nurses to have good communication skills to be able to be able to communicate with the patient’s family about their participation in the treatment and the recovery of the patient, and in making them understand about the health condition of the patient.
Most importantly, a paediatric nurse should be knowledgeable about the different ways young patients from different age groups communicate to be able to understand the patients’ needs.
If you lack this skill you can enrol in special courses focused on developing communication skills for paediatric nurses.
To be able to practice paediatric nursing in Australia you need to be a registered nurse. This means you are able to complete the Bachelor of Nursing program. You are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia or NMBA. You have the necessary experience in providing nursing care for infants or children in accredited medical institutions and a certificate of completion on specialised paediatric nursing courses.
Paediatric nurses’ salary may vary depending on the state or territory they are in, the sector they work for, and work experience. Paediatric nurses working in public or private sectors are paid a minimum wage as regulated by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. Under an industrial agreement, paediatric nurses will receive salaries based on working conditions such as pay rates, hours worked, and work leave privileges.
In general, paediatric nurses in Australia can earn from AU$60,000 up to AU$85,000.
Who’s This Role For?
If you are aspiring to be a paediatric nurse, patience is a must. Providing care for infants, children and adolescents can be stressful and challenging. Ill young patients tend to be whiny and fearful which in turn make them less cooperative when administering medications or treatment. Not to forget parents and family members who are equally distraught with the situation.
You need to be a quick-thinker and fearless as you will often face critical situations. You also need to be able to deal with the emotional pain when an extremely ill young patient you cared for a period of time does not survive.
Career Prospects and Opportunities / Industry Information
Nurses, in general, are in demand in Australia. If you ever choose to specialise on paediatric nursing you can work part-time or full-time in general wards or intensive care departments in private or public hospitals, government health care facilities, community clinics, schools, family homes, or get employed through a nursing agency. You can work in any public or private setting where your skills and expertise as a paediatric nurse are needed.