10 Paediatric Nurse Skills: Definition And Examples
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 4 June 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A paediatric nurse is a health care professional who works in clinics, hospitals and medical facilities where they provide specialised care to children from birth to adolescence. Being a paediatric nurse requires various soft and hard skills to ensure children get the best possible treatment and receive the highest quality care. If you want to pursue a career as a paediatric nurse, developing your nursing skills can help in securing employment and advancing your career.
In this article, we discuss what paediatric nurse skills are, explore some examples and provide you tip to develop and highlight these skills on a resume, cover letter and during a job interview.
What are paediatric nurse skills?
Paediatric nurse skills help you provide acute and preventive care to children. These skills help you work collaboratively with other doctors to provide dedicated health care services to children. They require a range of paediatric nursing skills ranging from patient care to administrative. Even though the work duties of a paediatric nurse vary from one another, there are a few technical and soft skills that help them perform these tasks. You learn hard skills through training, certification and education, while soft skills are habits or traits that enable you to work well with others.
Examples of paediatric nurse skills
Here are a few paediatric nursing skills to consider:
Good communication skills are necessary when working as a paediatric nurse. You require these skills to provide regular status updates to patients, their family members and the medical team. Besides communicating with the patient to understand their ailment, level of pain and medical history, these nurses communicate with other medical professionals in a written manner. The ability to actively listen and answer thoroughly is desirable for this role.
2. Relationship building
Doctors often prefer a paediatric nurse who can build relationships with their patients and make them feel comfortable. As paediatric nurses work with a child from their infant stage, they might see the same patient repeatedly as they reach the adolescent stage. It becomes essential to engage these young children to ensure good preventive care.
3. Technological skills
To perform their work duties, these professional uses many types of technological equipment and computer programs to track treatment plans, patient medications and medical histories. The ability to use different computer programs can increase accuracy and efficiency as a nurse. Technological skills are essential because it helps in using various medical equipment, such as blood pressure monitors and heart rate.
4. Patient assessment
Nurses assess patients and monitor their condition to ensure their health progress. This might involve monitoring vital signs and identifying medical issues with the patient. Assessing a patient's medical condition is desirable for this job role. Doctors prefer a paediatric nurse who knows how to respond to various health conditions a child is suffering and accordingly provide medication. If they notice anything unusual, these professionals notify a senior doctor.
Empathetic paediatric nurses can make an ailing child feel relaxed and comfortable. As children are less tolerant of emotional distress and physical pain, it is essential for these nurses to minimise their trauma and pain. A caring attitude can calm a crying child and help the doctor assess the child's condition. This also helps inspire a healthy relationship with a child because children respond better to adults who seem to understand them.
6. Attention to details
As children cannot express their symptoms, communication skills alone do not help diagnose their ailment. When children cannot express their problems because of distress or lack of vocabulary, a doctor expects a paediatric nurse to notice seemingly unimportant details to understand the medical issue. This skill set helps in early diagnosis and treatment.
7. Understand childhood development
To treat children and understand their ailments, paediatric nurses require a strong knowledge of different childhood development stages. Each developmental stage comes with a milestone and it is necessary for a nurse to know whether a child is receiving the right nutrition, attention, exercise and care they require. Children show different developmental and behavioural tendencies at each stage. Being aware of them helps these professionals better communicate with their patients and ensure they provide the best possible care.
8. Time management
A paediatric nurse treats multiple patients in a short time and staying organised and managing time is essential for this role. Managing your time can help you complete all your tasks while providing the best possible care. Use spreadsheets, flowcharts, a personal checklist or time management software to manage your time effectively.
9. Grief management and emotional support
As these nurses might work with children suffering from chronic health conditions and injuries, having excellent emotional support skills can help children and their families navigate through a difficult time. These professionals use their grief management skills to support the bereaved family members and friends.
The work environment of a paediatric nurse is unpredictable and doctors prefer nurses who can adjust to changing schedules, work environments and priorities. As nurses are in charge of several patients on a rotational basis, it is essential for them to adapt to the patient's requirements and needs. This professional might spend long hours based on the patient's health conditions, so it becomes essential to remain flexible.
How to improve paediatric nursing skills
Here are a few steps to follow to improve your paediatric nursing skills:
1. Join a professional nursing organisation
Getting to know an experienced paediatrics nurse can help you learn both hard and soft skills. Often, professional organisations offer training and education opportunities to those interested in developing their nursing skills. You are likely to meet individuals who can serve as mentors and help you become a better nursing professional.
2. Keep learning
For a nurse, constant learning is essential for a successful career. Being up-to-date with the latest technologies, treatments and procedures is a part of the learning process that can help in improving your nursing skills. You can improve a lot of your strengths by being open to continuous education.
3. Develop your communication skills
Focus on improving your communication skills by actively listening to the kids and their parents and paying attention to non-verbal cues like body language and vocal inflection. As you treat children and kids, it is essential to show empathy to build trust and develop a stronger relationship with them.
4. Volunteer in the community
At the start of your career, volunteering in the medical setting can develop your essential skills, like problem-solving and communication. Most hospitals and medical facilities accept volunteers to help them comfort ailing children. If possible, seek volunteering opportunities in the paediatric section.
Paediatric nursing skills in the workplace
Here are a few ways in which you can use your paediatric skills in the workplace:
Pay attention to the non-verbal cues. Learning and understanding non-verbal cues is essential for identifying the reason behind a patient's discomfort. This is essential because your patients might be too young to convey the reason for their discomfort.
Accept tasks that challenge you. To enhance your skills and provide the best health care service to patients, accept tasks you might not have completed earlier. This helps you learn new skills and improve ones you are less comfortable with.
Give preference to your patient. When you give preference to your patient, it helps you develop and highlight certain soft skills like problem-solving and communication skills. It can let employers and doctors understand that apart from taking care of patients, you give preference to patients' requirements and try to meet their demands.
How to highlight your paediatric nursing skills
You can highlight your skills in every part of the hiring process using the following steps:
1. For resume
When creating a resume, review the job description to identify technical and soft skills and employer requirements for a particular job role. Include these skills and ensure you give a brief description of how you used them in your previous job roles. Also, you can either create a separate skill section or include your skills in the work experience section under the job responsibilities you completed in your previous roles.
2. For cover letter
Use your cover letter as an opportunity to explain how your nursing skills helped in patient recovery and improved a child's health. Identify two or three essential nursing skills for each job role and explain how you showed these skills in the workplace. For instance, you can mention about your experience with taking preventive care of newborn babies.
3. During the interview
An interview gives your ample opportunity to showcase your nursing skills. Prepare for the interview by researching for commonly asked interview questions related to nursing skills and practice example responses. Use these questions to show your skills and tell employers why you are a suitable candidate for this job role.
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