At a recent conference I witnessed celebrations for adult nursing, with sections relating to learning disabilities and mental health nursing. During the course of the day I was waiting for recognition for children’s nurses; it never happened.
Therefore I decided to write a blog thanking all of the paediatric staff I have worked with.
My first nursing placement was school nursing, which I thought would involve the application of an occasional ice pack to a bumped head; how wrong I was. School nurses provide sex education, developmental support, training and immunisation programmes. I recall a 15 year old boy who struggled with anger issues which affected his school work. The nurse and me met him to discuss ways to manage this, during which the nurse showed tremendous compassion. I want to thank this nurse for teaching me that empathy is one of the best skills to possess.
On the general children’s ward where I was on placement there is a playroom. The play specialists wanted to improve the facilities and managed to raise £250,000 through their own fundraising. The playroom is now 55% larger and includes a teenage area, sensory space, separate play area for children with low immunity and a lounge area. Although this is only one playroom in one hospital, they made a difference. I’d like to thank the play specialists and nurses on the ward for showing me that determination and hard work pays off.
My third placement was community nursing and it was heart-warming to see a child receive care in their own home. One patient was a 14 year old girl with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She was recovering well but she felt in a low mood much of the time. The nurses would visit her to do weekly blood tests, but they always took the time to talk to her and ensure she was okay with all aspects of her health. I’d like to say thank you to the nurses for showing me that patience and holistic care are vital nursing skills.
I also had a placement on children’s day services. There was one patient who came in for regular blood transfusions and had a huge fear of needles. She never found it any easier when she came for treatment. The nurses communicated with her brilliantly, explaining the procedure, listening to her concerns and then discussing a solution. I’d like to thank the nurses for showing me that communication is essential.
My most recent placement was on a neonatal unit which admitted babies born from 26 weeks. I followed a baby from birth to discharge. She was born at 26 weeks and was in a poor condition. She spent nine weeks on the unit and was discharged to the neonatal outreach team who provide home support. It was incredible to watch her get stronger. The nurses were fantastic and focussed on family centred care. Thank you to the nurses for showing me that competency, compassion and simply care are wonderful skills to have.
I can honestly say that the nurses I have worked with portrayed the 6Cs in everything they did and it can be frustrating when the media focuses solely on the times the 6Cs aren’t followed. I have been privileged to work with extremely positive role models and I pledge to carry this forward in my own nursing career.
Hannah Robinson is a second year children’s nursing student