What to Know About Pediatric Nurses

For anyone who has a child, especially a child living with an illness or condition that requires frequent medical attention, visits to the hospital can become a little too routine. These visits are stressful enough considering you have to worry about your child’s health, but delays in wait times and dealing with a number of different people can add to the stress and sometimes cause frustration. As someone who has had to deal with many of these medical settings and the associated staff, I would like to pass on some things I learned about the pediatric medical setting in general, in hopes of providing new parents with a little bit of guidance.

Wait Times

Unfortunately, if your child’s medical problem isn’t overly urgent, you will likely have to wait. This being said, if you are at your local children’s hospital, the staff there will do everything they can to get you in as quickly as possible. I remember once instance when my stress just boiled over and I became vocally frustrated with the wait time, as it appeared no one else had urgent problems. Admittedly, I was wrong, and to this day I still feel bad about calling out staff who had no control over the issue. One thing I neglected to consider was the condition of each child already admitted into a bed. The staff, whether it be doctors, nurses, or technicians, all are spread out across many patients, so juggling their needs and unexpected issues can create havoc on their end. These are truly great people that want to do their best for you, so if you need to wait, there is likely an issue for it.

The staff, whether it be doctors, nurses, or technicians, all are spread out across many patients, so juggling their needs and unexpected issues can create havoc on their end. These are truly great people that want to do their best for you, so if you need to wait, there is likely an issue for it. If you do need to wait, just be patient and continue to monitor your child’s health. If their condition becomes worse, for sure, definitely let someone know, and you will be attended to as soon as possible.

Pediatric Nurses

Many people don’t understand that nurses are not just assistants or caretakers. Furthermore, pediatric nurses often have a different skill set than those involved in adult care. While they likely have experience in both, I personally know some pediatric nurses who specialize in that domain and are extremely knowledgeable, especially in a hospital setting. Pediatric nurses have more experience with child patient comfort, pediatric dosages for medications, as well as conditions which are more prevalent in children.

Pediatric nurses may also have access to more specialized equipment that caters to children. For example, pediatric stethoscopes are different from standard stethoscopes in that they can usually pick up fainter sounds. Friendly-looking instruments, smaller devices, and medication already catered to delivery into children all help make the job easier. Therefore, don’t write-off the nurse attending to your child if you are stressed or frustrated about something. If you have concerns, the nurse attending to your child will definitely want to hear them, just don’t immediately blame them for something that could be out of their control. They are highly stressed and doing everything they can to help your child.

When (Not) to Help

If tests or simple procedures are being performed on your child, often times these can be done while you are in the room as well. Many parents prefer this, which is totally understandable, and sometimes encouraged. However, just be respectful of the protocols involved. Many parents are over-eager to help and may make the process take longer or be a little more difficult for the children. Kids are fairly astute, and they can feed off their parents’ emotions. Therefore, we suggest simply asking the doctor or nurse if there is anything you can do to help make the process easier. Maybe they will be very grateful for some help delivering medication or holding your child while a test or injection is being performed. On the other hand, maybe they find it easier to do so without extra hands. In any case, they are medical professionals, so just be open with you discussion, both discussing your needs and wants while respecting hospital policy.

Summary

These are just a few pieces of information about pediatric nurses and the setting they work in. They common theme here is to simply be reasonable. Nurses are not responsible for controlling wait times or altering hospital policy, so while they will be happy to field your concerns, long waits just aren’t their fault. Rather, the sole purpose of their job is to look after your child, so please consider that when interacting with a pediatric nurse. They may appreciate your help at times, and other times, they may simply find it easier to work without extra hands, but having an open and friendly relationship with your nurse can be the easiest way to figure out the best approach to keeping your child healthy.

Dealing with Childhood Asthma

Dealing with Childhood Asthma

Asthma affects a large number of children in the world. However, it is always hard for parents when they are dealing with childhood asthma. For children, it is often scary and daunting. Although, due to asthma being so common, doctors and nurses know a lot about how to treat it. Many children can live life normally even if they have a severe form of asthma. However, poor controlled asthma in small children can result in children needing emergency care. Parents should not despair as there is a wide range of material that guides them on how to deal with childhood asthma.

Asthma Action Plan

Asthma action plans are a written plan that parents and doctors make. The plan will help with your child’s day-to-day asthma management and help guide you with decisions about your child’s asthma and what type of care is needed. These plans help make managing a child’s asthma easier as it shows what steps should be taken and is a visual guide to managing your child’s asthma.

Asthma Diary

Recording your child’s asthma symptoms is important. This is because it will be data on your child’s health and allow your doctor and you to see patterns in your child’s asthma. You will be able to tell how your child is responding to their asthma and how their health is developing. It will make it easier for the doctors to adjust to the development of asthma and decide what type of medicine is needed. It allows the doctor to gain better control of the asthma symptoms. Therefore making an asthma diary is crucial and is a must.

Peak Flow Metre

A peak flow meter is an instrument that is used to measure lung capacity in breathing disorders such as asthma. This instrument can help you and your doctor monitors your child’s asthma. You can record your child’s peak flow readings in your child’s asthma diary. You should also record your child’s normal reading so you can set an average and compare. When your child’s asthma gets worse, take peak flow measurements often and record them often. The instrument helps you know when your child’s asthma is controlled, worsening and if they need to see a doctor straight away.  Here is how a peak flow meter works.

Medicines

To treat asthma a doctor might prescribe two types of medicines; short-term and long-term. For a child that needs a quick-relief medicine to treat symptoms such as coughing and wheezing, a doctor would prescribe an inhaler. The child should have this at all times. For long-term control of asthma, your doctor will try to reduce the inflammation of the airways. This can be done through an inhaler with a device that is called a holding chamber.

With the right treatment, your child can live a perfectly normal life and will not have to miss school or have trouble sleeping.

The 3 Most Common Pediatric Illnesses

The 3 Most Common Pediatric Illnesses

Most new mums freak out at the first sight of infant fever or spots on their skin. It is however important to understand that all new mums face the similar situations in their early stages of motherhood. Since it is normal for your child to suffer from some of the most common infant illnesses, it is advisable to have the right information about what to expect. Armed with the right info, you will be able to cope with infant fevers and spots and avoid rushing to hospital in the wee hours of the night for a very simple condition. Let’s look at the 3 most common pediatric illnesses.

Baby allergies

Allergies are one of the most common pediatric illnesses in the world. Research has revealed that over 10% of all children in the world suffer allergies in their first year of life. The most common causes of allergies in children include house dust, pet hair, milk proteins, eggs and some kind of nuts. Allergic reactions manifest themselves in different ways. There are infants who, when exposed to agents, sneeze or cough, develop rashes on their skin or in the worst case scenarios, develop very severe allergies on their bodies. Such babies may cry uncontrollably and the only thing that you can do is to offer them with consolation. However, you should however pay attention to the most dangerous reactions and consider getting medical attention for the same. This prevents similar future allergic reactions.

Skin conditions

There are some infant skin conditions that can make your child uneasy. The most common skin conditions include cradle cap (oily patches or scaling on the kin), baby acne, drooling rashes and some flaky skin on your child’s body. The good thing is that, all these conditions clear out on their own. However, they can result in some uneasiness on your child.

Jaundice

Another common infant illness is jaundice. Research has revealed that almost half of all babies in the world suffer from a condition known as jaundice in their first few weeks of life. Jaundice is a condition that causes yellowing of the skin due to excess amount of bilirubin in their blood. However, proper feeding and occasional exposure to the sun can help in curing this condition. If the condition persists however, you should consider seeking the opinion of a doctor. Jaundice requires treatment if your baby is seriously unwell and not feeding as expected or where the condition has lasted for over 4 weeks despite proper feeding and exposure to sunlight.