Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Diagnose and prescribe treatment for sick or hurt children.

What does a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner do?

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners are advanced Nurses with more specialized knowledge and experience under their belts-in this case, they have an expertise children’s medicine.

Pediatrics is a big field: newborns, infants, children, and teens all have different needs. If you’re a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, you’re familiar with all of them, as you’re an expert in the developmental process. This means that you know how medications and treatments need to be adapted to your still-growing patients, and know how to detect certain genetic disorders that a patient’s family may not have been aware of yet.

Your advanced training (i.e. certification as a Nurse Practitioner) allows you to work independently, often without having to ask a Physician for help. You have the authority to diagnose illnesses, prescribe medications, and order tests like blood tests or x-rays to gather additional information. Once you know what’s wrong, you can also carry out the treatment yourself in many cases.

As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, two of your most important tools are trust and communication. You have to show kids why they should trust you-having a gentle voice and cartoon characters on your scrubs can help in that area. You also have to get information out of children who may not be very articulate, may not know the names of all of their body parts yet, or may be afraid to talk to strangers.

You’ll get to know lots of tiny humans every day, and they’re sure to put a smile on your face, even when the medical outlook is depressing. Although the job can be stressful, you’ll know you’re making a difference.