Why I'm Proud to be a Pediatric Nurse
National Pediatric Nurses Week is from October 7-11, 2019. Today, Carol shares her testimonial as a nurse.
From the first day of nursing school, I knew I would become a pediatric nurse. But I didn’t know I would find my calling in pediatric surgery.
One day during my clinical rotation in the O.R., I could feel the department suddenly “buzzing” more than usual. Near the end of my shift, I found out we were getting a new heart for a very sick baby. At the time, pediatric heart transplants were relatively rare so I did not want to miss this operation.
I watched in total awe for hours. Just as the baby’s new heart was sewn into place, the chief surgeon motioned for me to stand next to him. He took my hand and placed it on the baby’s new heart. Within moments, she was taken off the bypass machine that had kept her alive during surgery. I felt her heart beat for the very first time.
That experience stayed with me through every child’s and parent’s life I touched—before, during and after surgery. I understand the need to provide compassion and care during the most vulnerable time—that’s why I am a pediatric nurse.
From taking the hand of a frightened 6-year-old as we walked to pre-op, to telling a father “we’ll take good care of your son” before rolling him to the O.R, to sending a family home knowing surgery had made their child better—these are the moments that brought meaning to my life as a pediatric nurse.
Today in my work as a Clinical Quality Improvement Consultant at the Children’s Hospital Association, I am part of a team leading national networks to improve pediatric sepsis and dialysis practices. Although I no longer deliver hands-on care in the O.R., I carry the same passion for making a difference in the lives of children and families at children’s hospitals across the nation.