Caring for Pediatric Patients – Reflection

The recent transition from my former role as a Registered Nurse (RN to a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) represents one of my most significant moves yet. In particular, I was curious to discover the overall impact this would have on my competence and whether I was adequately prepared for my new role.  Felsenstein et al., (2015) notes that budding FNPs are expected to take on a different set of responsibilities which vary significantly from previous role; typically occasioning apprehension regarding suitability for this new responsibilities. Similarly, I was anxious about my new role as an FNP for I knew a lot was expected of me and the fact that I had to ensure the needs of my pediatric patients were met and addressed appropriately to increase the frequency of positive outcomes. Caring for pediatric patients has always been my passion. The opportunity afforded in this new role would, therefore, provided a unique opportunity to execute my mandate as required today.

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In caring for pediatric patients, I was exposed to the significance of persons in this category within a typical family set up; hence the reason why FNPs should always strive to provide the highest quality of care with such patients. One of the most important lessons from this experience was the fact that the review and management of pediatric health conditions was a staid responsibility involving both the pediatric patient in question and their entire family. I was previously oblivious to this fact during my former role as a RN and had only focused on the clinical management of health complications afflicting a patent at any given point without considering the repercussions of this current state. For instance, I became aware of the central role played by the patient’s family and how they seemingly influenced the outcome of each scenario. 

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My appreciation for responsiveness was also irradiated in my new role as an FNP.  Tobias (2019) observes that advanced practice nurses should ensure they hone their situational awareness during their practice and remain cognizant of various dynamics within the family unit during treatment. I was always keen in observing the type of family structure from which my pediatric patients hailed from to gain a deeper understanding of the role of each member and their influence on this process. According to Lestishock et al. (2018), FNPs with an eye for key family aspects such as the type of household the patients are from, religion or background are likely to succeed in efforts to tailor care plans to meet the individual needs. Offering my expertise as an FNP was, therefore, a fulfilling experience which allowed me to tap into my altruistic disposition.

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My recent stint as an FNP also allowed me to appreciate the inherent differences in bodily functions among pediatric patients compared to adults and the influence of this awareness on patient outcomes. According to Betz (2018), awareness of variations between adults and children should always take precedence during care due to the presence of clear differences in the manner in which medications are absorbed, basic bodily function, and the basic thought process. I was, therefore, able to appreciate these differences when providing treatment while acknowledging their impact on the efficiency of identified interventions. During one such scenario, I was able to develop a practical healthcare regimen for a pediatric patient in the early stages of childhood obesity and later satisfied by the progress made during a routine evaluation 4 weeks later. FNPs with an in-depth understanding of differences present between pediatric and adult patients eventually promote safety while reducing the frequency of adverse medical events (Scott, 2017, p. 764). My experience as an FNP was fulfilling, especially since my efforts went a long in improving the quality of life for my pediatric patient.

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