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Q&A: Hear From Two Pediatric Nurses in Honor of Pediatric Nurses Week!

October 3, 2023

Pediatric Nurses Week is here, and it’s time to honor the compassionate professionals who care for our youngest patients.

Meet Talehia and Velva, two exceptional pediatric nurses on the GHR team, whose unwavering commitment brightens the lives of children. Join us as we celebrate their contributions and get to know more about their experiences as pediatric nurses.

Talehia T., Pediatric LPN

Q: What inspired you to specialize in the field of pediatrics?

A: Being a pediatric nurse combines two of my passions; nursing and caring for children. While I was in nursing school, I worked at my family’s child care center where I cared for children with developmental and behavioral disorders. I was intrigued to be able to interact and provide trusted care in such an intimate environment. I loved seeing their curiosities on full display, their resilience and intelligence, as well as their various developmental milestones. The bonds formed between myself, the children, and their families inspired me to pursue the pediatric route in nursing. This specialty allows me to be silly with the children, interact and play games with them, and even dance when requested; all while providing quality care. I’ve always wanted multiple children, and now I have them throughout my career!

Q: What are some of the key skills and qualities you believe are essential for a pediatric nurse, and how have you developed and honed these skills throughout your career?

A: In nursing, it is important to be competent, compassionate, patient, and honest. With the pediatric population, it is especially important to be adaptable and to practice therapeutic communication. I’ve learned that having a delicate balance of all of those qualities fosters trusting relationships among the nurse, child, and their family. Pediatric nursing means caring for the family as a whole; this ultimately leads to building meaningful connections and achieving optimal health goals. Knowing that I am a source of comfort for a scared child or worried parent is a great responsibility and I do my best to accommodate and ease their concerns. I couldn’t feel more fulfilled with my career path!

Velva T., Pediatric LPN

Q: Tell us about your career as an LPN! What led you to pediatrics?

A: Well, I became an LPN back in 2003, and to be honest, I didn’t have a set plan to specialize in pediatrics at the beginning. I actually bounced between long-term care and private duty, working with both geriatric and pediatric patients. But eventually, I found my groove in pediatrics, and I’ve been in this field for a solid 15 years now. Currently, I’m working in a transitional care home where we take care of kids with trachs and vents. Some of these little ones have complex health issues, but being part of their progress is incredibly rewarding. It’s just heartwarming to see a child finally get to go home.

Q: As an LPN, there are many paths you can take, and even within pediatrics, there are various specialties. Can you tell us about the specifics of your current role in transitional care with trach and vent patients to share your unique path with others?

A: Right now, I’m working in transitional care with children who have trach tubes and ventilators. Most of them have complex health issues, and it’s our goal to keep them stable and, when possible, get them ready to go home. I work in a transitional care home that feels more like a house than a hospital. It’s a cozy setup for the kids, and they get all sorts of therapies, like physical, occupational, and speech therapy, to help them out.

My daily routine includes things like giving meds, keeping an eye on vitals, and doing treatments when needed. Basically, it’s all the care these kids would get in a nursing home or through private duty, but it’s right here in this transitional care home where they stay temporarily.

With agency work like GHR, I can pick 12-hour shifts, and I’ve set it up so I work more hours on the days I’m on and fewer days overall. I never work weekends, I only work dayshift, and I only work holidays if I volunteer to. It’s flexible and nice because a lot of on-staff roles require rotating weekends and holidays.

Thank you, Talehia and Velva, for sharing some of your stories and for everything you and your fellow pediatric nurses do for patients and the healthcare industry— Happy Pediatric Nurses Week!

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