Pediatric ICU nurses are often the saving grace in the midst of a family health crisis, helping young patients and their loved ones through physically and emotionally difficult times. As a follow-up to last week’s interview with NurseFly about the current career outlook for pediatric travel RNs, DailyNurse asked Bethany for a first-hand account of her experience as a PICU nurse during the pandemic. Sometimes a patient’s outcome is totally out of your control. The 2012 Nursing Salary Survey from ADVANCE for Nurses does not provide specific information on PICU nurse salary rates, although it found that ICU nurses make an average of $75,800 annually, while pediatric nurses average $72,600. They collaborate with families, physicians, and other healthcare professionals to create a plan for patient recovery and care. If you need more job interview materials, you can reference them at the end of this post. What do ICU nurses do? Picu nurse interview questions & answers. For Medical Professionals who love working with babies, children and teens, paediatric nursing is an excellent career choice. These nurses care for one to three patients per shift. As such, it’s easy to become attached, and likely that you’ll get to know the family members who are visiting. There’s nothing more uplifting than knowing that a child is in good health because you did a great job. Keeping your cool and using a kid-friendly approach can make all the difference. Take a look at some of the workplace stressors that pediatric ICU nurses have to deal with on a daily basis to figure out if it’s a good career match for you. If this is something that you deal with on a regular basis – especially if you’re in an oncology unit – you have to be able to leave the sadness of the day behind when you go home, or you will quickly burn out. Like other nurses, ICU nurses monitor patients, administer medications, assist patients with basic needs, chart care and respond to emergencies. The nurses who work in the PICU are experienced in caring for the sickest children in the hospital. Not every adult is a good patient, for sure, but routine medical diagnostic exams or basic procedures like running an IV or changing bandages can be traumatic for small children; and sometimes these tests and treatments are painful. On the flipside, however, it’s hard to find a more rewarding career. Meaning: How do teenagers (P) diagnosed with cancer (I) perceive chemotherapy and radiation treatments (O) during the first 6 months after diagnosis (T)? This demand has led to a major shortage that can benefit anyone willing to work in a chaotic and emotionally-fueled environment. PICU nurses have three main duties: monitoring patients, providing appropriate care and informing patients and their families on the status of procedures. As a PICU nurse, you’ll spend a lot of time with your patients, sometimes only having one or two patients to care for during your entire shift. What all of these possible conditions have in common is that they are frightening, even devastating, moments for not only the child, but for his or her parents and loved ones. Beyond these aspects, there are some challenges that are common to all types nurses. What is your greatest weakness for the position: […] 1. Nurses are trained to perform life-saving, invasive interventions to stabilize patients and apply crisis management techniques. Still, you need the child to be still and calm in order to get through whatever it is you need to do. And, sadly, some patients – even innocent children – may not make it. It’s important not to take any outbursts personally, but also know how to deal with them appropriately. With the right expertise and a caring nature to go along with it, PICU nurses can really impact a child’s hospital experience, and help aid in his or her recovery. Since ICU nurses have a limited number of patients, the demand for specialists is on the rise. For pediatric ICU nurses, however, workplace pressures can feel that much more intense. If you’re considering becoming a PICU nurse, you should be aware of some of the emotional and physical tolls of the job, so you can determine if you have the right temperament to give it your all. But then again, the feel-good moments that come from nursing a child back to good health, or telling a family that their child is going to be OK after a difficult experience can outweigh the negatives. Travel to your favorite city while getting paid! They're the people most closely involved with the minute-to-minute care of the kids. For starters, it’s a physically demanding job in which you’re on your feet most of the time, and you have to stay mentally sharp through it all to ensure patients are cared for appropriately. They might also be there because of social factors such as a drug overdose. Ask yourself: Do I have strategies in place for coping with seeing suffering and death happen before my eyes? Ask yourself: Can I make health care decisions without letting emotions get in the way? What Does A Paediatric Nurse Do? If you work as a PICU travel nurse, or in a large metropolitan specialty hospital, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of higher compensation rates. This is where your bedside manner skills come into play. The nature of all nursing positions is that sometimes things go wrong. And, you, as the health care professional have to do your best to keep your emotions in check, which can be difficult, especially if you are a parent yourself. On the other hand, with stress levels running high, sometimes family members are difficult to deal with and may project their anger and sadness onto you and your staff. Does monitoring blood glucose 4 times a day (I) improve blood glucose control (O) in people with Type 1 diabetes (P) during the first six months after being diagnosed with the condition (T)? Children who wind up in the PICU usually have a serious condition, have experienced some sort of trauma, are facing a tough recovery after a complex surgery, or might be suffering from a chronic illness or disease. Ready to start making a difference – find PICU travel jobs here. In this post, you can reference some of the most common interview questions for a picu nurse interview along with appropriate answer samples. What Does a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Travel Nurse Do? If you think that you can do what an ICU nurse does, start to get experience and looking for openings. Unfortunately, as with all aspects of nursing, illness, pain, and sometimes death is the outcome for some patients, and that can be especially tough to take when the patient is a child. Bethany Macchi, BSN, RN-CCRN has worked in a pediatrics cardiac ICU unit for nearly five years, and also worked as a travel nurse earlier this year. 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