November 28, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Some people have a distinct affinity for working with a certain age group. While some may dream of working with newborns, others may prefer working with toddlers, teenagers, the middle-aged or the elderly. If you are studying to become a nurse and you like working with babies, there are several specialties you can choose to pursue within this demographic. Some of these specialties deal with specific healthcare needs whereas others may deal with child mental development or family-centred services.
Neonatal nurses and neonatal nurse practitioners are registered nurses who undergo specialised training that focuses on caring for newborn babies. These nurses do not just look after ill babies. As a neonatal nurse, you could be caring for healthy newborns as well ailing and premature babies who need to stay in the intensive care unit. Neonatal nursing professionals are certificated in the highly specialised area of neonatal resuscitation and neonatal intensive care. Most employers prefer to hire neonatal nurses who have at least a few years experience working in the paediatric unit in particular as newborns need highly specialised care.
There are various categories within neonatal nursing, where Level 1 nurses will care for healthy newborns, Level 2 nurses care for sick babies and Level 3 nurses care for seriously ill babies.
Paediatric nurses work with infants and children of varying ages. They are in charge of conducting regular examinations, prescribing basic medication and diagnosing illnesses. As a paediatric nurse you could work in a doctor’s clinic, health care centre, school, community centre or a hospital. You will need additional certification to practice in this specialty.
These specialist nurses teach new mothers how to breastfeed their babies and deal with any problems that may arise at this stage. New mothers need to be shown how to position the baby, how to relax, how to use breast pumps and what to do in case of any problems related to lactation or breastfeeding. As a lactation consultancy nurse, you could be self-employed and make home visits or you could work in hospitals and clinics. To practice in this specialty, you will need to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing or you need to be an Associate of Nursing Science. You will also have to be certified by a professional Board before you can practice.
Public health nurses who work with babies usually work in programs that involve home visitation. As a paediatric public health nurse, you would usually visit homes of families with high-risk babies. This includes teen parents. Home visits typically include teaching teen parents how to care for their babies and examining premature infants. The main focus of these visits is monitoring the baby’s health, wellness, nutrition and overall development and teaching families how to bring up better, healthier children. These nurses are usually employed in hospitals and local public health departments.