Pediatric nurse practitioners are a special group of registered nurses. They are specialized in treating infants and children. It is a highly respected position since these health care professionals are capable of providing the same medical services that a doctor is licensed to provide. The job duties of these special nurse practitioners are almost similar to that of a pediatric physician. Many nurse practitioners specialized in pediatrics offer services through their own private medical centers. Others work in offices, clinics or even hospitals.
Such a practitioner or an advance practice nurse needs to follow a certification program in order to become specialized in pediatrics. Advance practice nurses need to have at least a Masters degree. Every state has a Nurse Practice Act and it is necessary for all the practitioners to follow the rules and regulations of this act. After completing the national board exam, an advance practice provider needs to obtain additional credential in order to become specialized in a specialty area such as pediatrics.
A pediatric practitioner is licensed to perform medical exams and prescribe medications. They can treat all common childhood illnesses without consulting a physician. They also maintain medical records of children and perform regular check-ups. Therefore, parents can obtain their service for diagnosing pediatric diseases and treatments.
These specialized practitioners have a vast knowledge in pediatric medical procedures. Their advanced knowledge, specialty training and licensing allow them to perform a wide range of laboratory tests including blood tests, x-rays and CAT scans. They can even interpret the reports of these laboratory tests without the need of a doctor and recommend further medical actions.
Providing regular health care for kids is a tough job that requires a lot of knowledge and specialty training. For most infants and young children, undergoing a treatment procedure is not a happy experience. They usually get very nervous when they visit a health care facility. Patience and proper skills are extremely important to handle unmanageable kids during various treatment procedures.
Another very important aspect of pediatrics is the fact that children are immature both mentally and physically. Therefore, any medication should be prescribed only after a thorough examination. The nurses must make sure that the prescribed medication does not affect the child’s ongoing physical and mental development process.
Young children and infants are more susceptible to infections and diseases than adults are. Side effects of a treatment can also have more bad effects on kids than on mature individuals. Therefore, the slightest medical malpractice in pediatrics can have a devastating effect on the child’s health. Further, it can even retard the mental and physical growth of an infant or a young child. For these reasons, a specialized practitioner needs to have comprehensive training apart from the paper qualifications.
Pediatric nurse practitioners offer a valuable service to the nation. These professionals educate other health care providers in pediatrics about child health care. They can even educate parents about childcare and healthy lifestyle choices. If you have questions about your child’s health, one of your best options will be to consult a nurse practitioner specialized in pediatrics.