Nursing Career Profile: Pediatric Psychiatric Nursing

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Where the jobs are:

Psych mental health nurses who specialize in pediatrics provide nursing care to children and adolescents within a number of different types of facilities. Some nurses work in freestanding inpatient facilities devoted exclusively to the treatment of psychiatric conditions in children and adolescents, others work in partial hospitalization programs that allow children to attend school for a portion of the day. Nurses also work in schools, either specialized schools devoted exclusively to students with mental health challenges, or non specialized schools that provide classroom instruction for students with mental illness who are able to attend regular classes with their peers if they are provided additional nursing or other support. Nurses may also work one on one in the home, such as with early childhood intervention programs.

Job characteristics and specialized responsibilities:

Special skills needed included empathy for and patience with children. Nurses must also have the ability to effectively deal with children with multiple disabilities or co-ocurring developmental delays such as caused by cerebral palsy or fetal alcohol syndrome. Seizure disorders also tend to be more common in this population, so child PMH nurses must feel well equipped to deal with seizures, including seizure emergencies like status epilepticus.

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