Career Story: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Job Title: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Type of Company: I am employed by a regional health care system, but I provide primary care in an office setting.

Education: BS in Nursing (BSN), Fairfield University •• MS, Northeastern University

Previous Experience: I worked as a staff nurse on a pediatric inpatient unit before I went to graduate school. I currently have worked for 16 years in a pediatric primary care office.

Job Tasks: I work in a pediatric primary care office. I see children between the ages of birth to 21. I see children for checkups and for sick visits. I prescribe medications and order lab tests and x-rays when necessary. I diagnose conditions and illnesses. I teach parents and their children how to stay healthy. My typical day starts at 9 AM and should end at 5 PM, but most days I am there past 5 PM. I have my own schedule separate from the doctors that work in my office. If a patient has a question I can not answer, then the doctors are there to help out. I also spend time on the phone giving out advice to parents that have questions about their child's health or behaviors. Sometimes I also get involved with a child's school (i.e. talking to the school nurse, the teachers or the guidance counselors) about how a child's health condition could affect their success in school.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is getting to watch children grow from babies to adults. I also get to know them well and hopefully make a difference in their lives (i.e. making good health choices). Another best part of my job is the people I work with. We work well as a team. We help each other out a lot.

The worst part of my job is that I have to try to stay on schedule. I have only so many minutes for an appointment and sometimes things come up that are more complicated than the time allowed.

Job Tips:
1. You need to like science if you are going to go into health care.

2. You need to have good people skills. You need to like talking and listening to people. You need to be able to respect that people come from many different cultures and they have different beliefs about health.

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