My day as a paediatric nurse varied from one day to the next, it was challenging, but also very exciting and rewarding as there was always so much to learn.
My day typically started with a handover from the previous shift and allocation of clients. This gave me time to get my head around working out a vague plan for the day, to help prioritise the needs of my clients and their families. I then looked at all the set interventions I had to do during the day and write this out hour by hour.
After checking in on each of my clients in the morning, I introduced myself and start administering and checking the clients’ medications with colleagues. I also made sure I had the time to have a chat with each client and their families.
Some families and children were have been on the ward for months, therefore it was so important to make them feel a little better psychologically as well as physically.
Breaking up the working day
If possible, we tried to have a little break in the morning and a slightly longer lunch mid-afternoon. As we worked such long hours, we always supported each other to take a break often.
After all, we needed to look after ourselves to be able to provide the best possible care for our clients and their families. If our breaks became a little later in the day, we normally find the odd minute here or there to pop into the break room and grab some chocolate, or a biscuit from the inevitable snacks that were left in there to keep us going.
The rest of the day was spent caring for our clients and their specific needs. We always carried out regular observations throughout the day for each client, and if one of them showed some concerning signs, then we use our training and knowledge to try and manage the situation involving the wider multidisciplinary team.
If clients needed immediate support, they could ring their crash bell, which is always next to their bed. Within seconds a team of medical professionals would be there to help support the client. It’s amazing to see how everyone comes together so quickly and the skills involved from each team member work in unison.
These unpredictable episodes could be scary, especially when newly qualified, but the feeling you get from being able to see the actions you took, and the difference you made to someone’s life is a privilege.
Why I love being a paediatric nurse
I love being a paediatric nurse for many reasons, seeing a child’s outlook on their life when they’re unwell is incredible. Children don’t assume the sick role as we do as adults, but they enjoy those moments when they are feeling better.
I’ve worked with some incredible children who have been through so much treatment, but they still smile and play in between their medication as if it were just another ordinary day.
Working with children is also about supporting their families too. It could be tough at times to give them the support they need, but also to look after yourself so that you could continue to provide the highest quality care to children.
Supporting children and their families through the end of life care is particularly tough as you often go into the nursing profession by being able to make a child better. During this time, it’s about changing that mindset to ensure the child is as comfortable as possible so that they can enjoy the time they have with their family.
We might not be able to change the outcome, but we can make sure that our clients' last days are filled with comfort and dignity.
Being able to change a child's life for the better by helping them to recover from an illness or supporting them during the end of life care is such a privilege. It can be tough, but overall it is incredibly rewarding, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
If you are interested in joining our Pulse Nursing at Home community and helping us to deliver the best possible care to our clients then register with us today. Or contact our team on 0207 959 1003 and a member of our team will be in touch soon.