Nurse practitioners are important members of healthcare teams, because they have a holistic approach to the patient, such as nurses, and work as a provider.
There are many areas in which nurse practitioners may specialize, such as pediatrics.
There are further subspecialists in nurse practitioners’ pediatrics.
One of them is subspecialization for nurse practitioners who choose to take care of children diagnosed with cancer.
Let’s see a brief overview of the most common tasks and routine activities of pediatric oncology nurse practitioners.
We will include other aspects of the job.
Where do Pediatrics NPs Work?
They can work in both clinical and hospital work setting.
When working in clinics, pediatric NPs communicate with patients and families, conduct a physical exam, order tests, review the results, and make a care plan for each patient according to individual needs and illness requirements.
It includes indications for surgery, radiations, or chemotherapy.
When working in hospitals, pediatric NPs are in charge of overseeing the patient’s treatment and follow its recovery from surgery and advance procedure, deal with the treatment side effects and make sure that all standards for post-op surgical procedures are met.
Working with the Family
Taking care of children diagnosed with cancer is a delicate task.
After having their children diagnosed with cancer, parents can be in shock and a pediatric nurse practitioner assists them in understanding the diagnosis.
A pediatric NP can offer them to participate in support groups, help them in financial planning, or arrange the meeting with psychiatric if needed.
Families who are going through the treatment of children with cancer can experience stress, anxiety, grief, rage, etc.
A pediatric nurse practitioner has to help mobilize the available resources to help the family in those dark moments, and help them take care of medical and psychosocial needs.
Other Aspects of the Job
Taking care of children with cancer is challenging for pediatric oncology nurse practitioners as well.
They can struggle with the emotional toll and experience burnouts due to a delicate and emotional work environment.
Pediatric oncology NPs must learn how to cope with stress and to find healthy outlets for it.
The healthy ways to cope with the challenges of the jobs are exercises, mediation, travels, talking with peers, or simply taking a break.
But, despite all challenges and stress, the job of the pediatric oncology nurse practitioners is very rewarding.
Helping and supporting families in their worst moments by acting as a lifeline, is a unique feeling.
Pediatric NPs sometimes seem like the only constant in all the procedures and chaos of the cancer treatments and therefore may develop closer relationships.
The role of pediatric NP is also very significant in supporting families during their grief after a terminal diagnosis.