The 2nd rotation for my grad year at CGH has been in the women’s and children’s ward.
Having no experience when it comes to paediatric nursing, it has been a big step outside my comfort zone. My previous rotation I had another grad with me to ease the nerves and was a bit nervous about going into this rotation by myself but turns out I was stressing for no reason as every single person on the ward has been so supportive. To say I love this ward would be an understatement. I have always felt strongly that paediatrics and midwifery is where I belong and being part of this ward and team for the last few months has certainly confirmed that this is the area of nursing I wish to pursue.
With this rotation has come a whole new area of nursing I have had to adjust to. Simple things like the difference in “normal ranges” for vital signs – vitals that would be a MET call for an adult are within the perfect range for a paed and vice-versa. Familiarising myself with the use of burettes and syringe pumps for IV administration, different fluids used for paeds and calculating medication doses based on weight were all new me, but I have adapted well. Retraining my brain to this new normal took a little while but I finally got the hang of it, now for my next rotation I’ll have to remember my old normal.
Being on this ward during the winter months means I have had a lot of exposure to children admitted with respiratory illnesses. I’ve gained new skills including commencement/cessation of high flow oxygen and rehydration via NGT – inserting an NGT in a baby in comparison to an adult was an adjustment, but another beneficial component in my learning experience.
As a parent, seeing any child unwell is unsettling, but learning the skills to assist with making them better is invaluable and its rewarding to be part of their recovery journey. Also offering support to the parents is a new area for me. Of course, with adults you offer support to them and their families but it’s not quite the same as a sick child and their parents. I think that having children of my own has helped with building good rapport with parents, which in turn helps the patient.
This rotation has seen such a growth in my knowledge and skill set, all of which will assist me throughout the remainder of my graduate year. The support I’ve been given by the amazing team on this ward is incredible and I am so thankful for all their patience and assistance with my learning journey.
I am off to medical ward for my next rotation. It will be an interesting experience adjusting to the role of an RN in a ward I have previously worked as an EN. Whilst I’m sad that this rotation is ending, I am also looking forward to the challenge of a new ward and the new experience and skills that it will bring.