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Pediatric Nurse  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotPediatric nurses have many roles. They help children and their families cope with illness, promote health and prevent sickness. Pediatric nurses assist physicians during treatments and exams, administer medications, and assess and record symptoms and patient progress.

"You have to like people and be willing to always learn and teach. Enter each day with the commitment your patients deserve," says Roger Sanders, director of nursing for a hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina.

dotThese nurses can work in hospitals, private offices or home health-care agencies. They can work in well-lit medical facilities or a small child's bedroom. They may work a 9-to-5 shift or they may have to work nights and weekends.

"Just because my hours are 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. doesn't mean that I'm able to leave at 7 a.m. If a child is unstable or if I have to do paperwork, I need to stay until I am completely finished with my work," says Corey Fritz, a pediatric nurse in Atlanta.

dotThe nursing profession is stressful -- both physically and emotionally. Children and their families may be extremely distraught. Pediatric nurses also face some physical hazards -- including the risk of contracting anything from a simple cold to hepatitis.

"As was said at my graduation, the job of a nurse is more dangerous than a police officer's. There are many diseases that are out there, only a finger stick away, such as HIV and hepatitis," says Fritz.

At a Glance

Help children and their families cope with illness, promote health and prevent sickness

  • You need good people skills
  • This work can be physically and emotionally stressful
  • You'll need to be a registered nurse