Shadowing a DoctorJanuary 25, 2016
If you love working with babies, there are several medical careers that you can choose from – some of which will allow you a quick entry into the field, while others may require many years of study. A genuine love for children and a nurturing disposition are two of the attributes necessary for anyone wishing to work in a career that focuses on working with babies.
A paediatrician is a medical doctor who specialises in treating children of all ages, from infants to teenagers. To become a paediatrician, you must have obtained a doctorate in medicine, completed a paediatric focused residency programme, and be licensed to practice. You can either practice as a general paediatrician – diagnosing and treating a broad range of medical conditions specific to children – or choose to specialise in a particular field, such as paediatric endocrinology or paediatric surgery.
Neonatal or neonatology nurses are dedicated to caring for newborn babies in the maternity and children’s hospitals as well as within the community. There are three different levels of neonatal nurses – level one nurses are qualified to take care of healthy infants, level two nurses undergo further training in caring for sick and premature infants, and level three nurses undergo advanced training that allows them to care for newborns who are in critical condition. To practice as a neonatal nurse you must have a minimum bachelor’s degree in nursing, along with a master’s degree focusing on neonatal care. Most employers will also require you to be certified as a neonatal nurse practitioner. Neonatal nurses work both within the community and in hospitals.
NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Nurse is an advanced nursing position that involves caring for newborns who are critically ill and need intensive care as soon as they are born. This role requires extensive training in operating advanced medical equipment. NICU nursing is a high-stress specialty that requires you to be vigilant in monitoring a newborn’s vital signs. A BSN degree and some experience in paediatrics are necessary requirements of the job.
PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) nurses have the same responsibilities as NICU nurses with one difference – they care for children across a wider age range, from infants to toddlers and older children too.
Midwives start caring for babies even before they are born. They care for pregnant women from the time of discovering they’re pregnant, till the delivery, and right through postpartum. Many midwives start working after completing a short midwifery programme while others learn through on the job training. Nurse-midwives are slightly different from midwives in that they have completed formal education. They usually enter the profession as RNs and then complete a formal midwifery programme. Nurse-midwives have a larger scope of practice and earn a higher salary too.
Infant Massage Therapist
Infant massage therapy promotes better growth and development of premature babies and also lowers their stress levels and helps them relax. A special certification in infant massage therapy is the minimum requirement to practice in this specialty. In addition to working in a maternity or paediatric hospital, you can even freelance as an infant massage therapist, which is an excellent option if you’re looking for a more flexible schedule.
Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.