Let us take time out and escape the world of adult health and enter the world of pediatrics. Pediatric patients tend to be a little happier, full of life, and excited about everything. Patients vary in age from babies to 17-year-olds. Most inpatient care units are colorful and have activity rooms for little patients to play in. Although the cases are often sad and no one wants to see kids sick, providing care and helping them feel better makes it all worthwhile. Playing games, such as peek-a-boo, dressing up, and putting together puzzles, are just part of what your day might consist of. The best part about our job as nurses is that we can help and play at the same time.

In the pediatric nursing course, you learn about the stages of development, common disorders, treatments, and nursing interventions. This chapter has the same set-up as that of Chapter 3. Each disorder will be explained in detail with highlighted areas to concentrate on. The course exams will be based on learning the various conditions and recognizing the nursing interventions for each. There are many questions on child development stages as well. Medication administration and dosage of medications are also slightly different. Study your medication calculations for pediatric dosing.

I found this course to be a nice change from adult care nursing, but a little bit difficult, due to the abundance of information. Now, you may have a totally different experience—don't begin to worry yet. This course is packed with lots of information and requires lots of studying, as well. The clinical portion of the course will test your knowledge and what you have learned. Assessment, care plans, knowledge of medication dosages, and nursing interventions are all part of your clinical experience. Pediatric patients endure the same severity of symptoms as adult patients. Clinical placements can vary. It may be emotionally difficult for you to see children suffering from illness. But as a nursing student, you have to remember you are there to help these kids feel better. Once a child smiles at you and says a simple "thank you," you will begin to see the beauty in caring for children.

My pediatric clinical experience took place in Boston Children's Hospital on the cystic fibrosis unit. I was amazed. The unit was very colorful and vibrant, and all the rooms looked like mini toy shops. Although the kids were sick and weak, they were full of life and ready to play. The day begins with administering morning medications, completing assessments, and reviewing the chart. Once this was completed, it was time to play! I would often say to myself, "Now, this is a dream nursing job!"

I hope you enjoy this course and clinical as much as I did. Pay attention to the check boxes on the margins; they highlight areas that were frequently tested. The first exam will be based on knowing the different developmental stages; this content is also tested on the NCLEX. The next three to four exams are based on pediatric medications, review of disorders, and nursing interventions. You can apply the same study skills from the prior courses to study for this course. Let's get started!

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