Child health nurses vs Pediatric nurses
“Role and Responsibilities of a Paediatric and a Child health nurse”
Instructions: The terms Pediatric Nurse and Child Health Nurse are frequently used interchangeably. In this assignment you are required to:
1. Identify and discuss the similarities and differences in the role and responsibilities of a Pediatric Nurse compared to a Child Health Nurse.
2. Discuss the responsibility that all nurses have in keeping children safe.
Child health nurses vs Pediatric nurses
Healthcare consumes billions of dollars today, leading to health expert’s realization that to tackle issues of healthcare, in the long run, significant problems in the promotion of health must be addressed in childhood. Nursing plays a very integral part of medical practice and especially in fostering and promoting critical health issues within the population. This paper draws the similarities and differences in roles and responsibilities of both the pediatric nurses and the child health nurses.
By definition, paediatric nursing is an area in nursing practice that is concerned with the care of children and infants who are in sick, in chronic conditions or surgery. It requires the nursing knowledge of the psychosocial, cognitive and normal-psychomotor development as well as other health problems that are prevalent in this age-group. It emphasizes on preventive care and parental guidance in helping to solve pediatric problems (Australian Confederation of Paediatric & Child Health Nurse, 2006)
Child health nursing, on the other hand, is concerned with the general wellbeing of the healthy child and mother, follow up and immunization, child records and statistics, general child safety and care, breastfeeding and developmental assessment among others. While pediatric nursing is concerned about the care of a sick child, a child health nurse is more concerned about the continued health and development of the child, whether in the hospital or within parental care.
Similarities between pediatric and child health nurse
By definition, both nursing practitioners deal with the welfare of children, infants, and adolescents. Both nursing areas complement each other, with one taking care of the sick child while the other ensures that the caregivers are informed on how to continue to provide services to the child to maintain their health.
Both nursing practitioners require a specific level of education and preferably certification as nursing professionals. One has to undergo either a vocational course, undergraduate or postgraduate educational qualifications.
Both the pediatric nurse and the child health nurse are governed by the same code of medical ethics and practices. They are essentially medical staff and therefore are bound by the medical code of ethical conduct in their duties
Both nursing professionals work hand in hand with other medical practitioners. For instance, they work under pediatricians, alongside pharmacists, pathologists, radiologists, etc. Their findings and or observations are supported by evidence from these other medical professionals for them to smoothly offer proper medical care.
The pediatric nurse, as previously explained, deals with the sick child, infant or adolescents. They would be concerned about the child’s vital signs, behaviour change, diagnosis, etc. (Kruske & Barclay, 2006). The child health nurse, on the other hand, is more concerned about the welfare of the healthy child and especially on issues such as vaccinations, records, and statistics, parental advice, records management and reports .
According to the Society of pediatric nurses, a registered pediatric nurse must at least have a degree in the relevant area and several years of experience in a pediatric care environment. Aside from the degree qualification, pediatric nurses have to take, and independent qualification examination, after which they can be recognized as registered nurses. The qualifications for a child care nurse are rather relaxed, with even vocational nursing education and midwifery, meeting the criteria for certification.
Pediatric nurses, due to the nature and condition of their child patients operate mostly in a hospital set up where there are the facilities necessary to handle emergency cases that may befall the sick child. For instance, children that require Iv- cannulation or iv infusion procedures need to be brought to a hospital set up. The child health nurse, on the other hand, could operate from anywhere since their knowledge in more administrative than technical. For instance, advising clients on the due date for vaccination, schedules doctors consultations and how to properly breastfeed, may not necessarily be in a hospital set up.
The pediatric nursing professionals work is diagnostic in nature, including identifying signs and symptoms, detecting abnormalities, determining the normal and abnormal behavior in children, acting as the children advocate, etc. On the other hand, the child health nurse’s role is administrative in that it helps the caregivers to make the best decisions concerning their children to avoid sicknesses or recurrence of sicknesses in children.
Keeping children safe-Nurses’ responsibilities
From the above discussion, the role of nurses in ensuring the safety of children, whether in a hospital set up or in their homes cannot be overstated. Nurses, both child health and paediatric, have a role to play in ensuring the safety of children in hospitals, as well as informing their guardians and caregivers on the best ways to keep their children safe.
Safety of children whether medical or physical is of paramount important in the nursing profession and underlines the core of nursing practice. Ensuring that children in hospitals are safe from both human and accidental or environmental factors is a primary role of members of the nursing profession. Educating parents and caregivers on the priority safety measures for children especially in scheduled group sessions is an integral part of the nursing practice.
Kruske, S, Barclay, L 2006, ‘Child health and pediatrics: more differences than similarities’, Neonatal, pediatric and
child health nursing, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 20-24.
Australian Confederation of Paediatric & Child Health Nurse 2006, Competencies for the Specialist Paediatric and Child Health Nurse, Australian Government, viewed 13 August 2014,
Society of pediatric nurses: available at: http://www.pedsnurses.org/becominganurse