COLORADO SPRINGS — This week, October 7th - 11th 2019 is Pediatric Nurses Week. The society of pediatric nurses who sponsors the week says on their website, “The mission of this week is to promote pediatric nursing, the practice of nurses dedicated to promoting the optimal health of children and providing excellence in nursing care of children and their families. This week calls attention to the critical work that pediatric nurses provide to improve healthcare delivery. It is a time to reflect on the contributions pediatric nurses make to patients, families, and communities.”
If you have ever had a child hospitalized in a Children’s hospital, you likely know the special level of care pediatric nurses bring.
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The opening of Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs this summer brough many needed pediatric health care services to southern Colorado, including a dedicated pediatric emergency room, and a talented group of nurses who staff it.
Kelly Beach, RN, MSN, is the clinical manager of the Children’s Colorado Emergency Department in Colorado Springs. Kelly what she loves about her job most is, “When I can make a kid smile who is not feeling very well, there's something that just hits the heart with that.”
Earning those smiles from their young patients is a part of the team approach at Children's Colorado.
Ronnie Kirksey is an RN in the emergency department. “We have special ways to take care of kids. If you are an adult you understand things much differently than a child. We have people who go to school to learn to speak to children on their level, and explain what's going on with them.”
Being a pediatric nurse means you’re caring for more than just your patient explains Ronnie. “As pediatric nurses we don't have one patient, we have a whole family. The mom, dad, grandparents, brothers, sisters, they're all just as important to us as that patient that we have.”
Kelly says, “There is a different level of trust when you are a parent and you are handing over your child saying, ‘Help me.’ There is a significant level of trust that a parent is bestowing in us as care team members. We take that very seriously and that child's care is our number one priority, and then ensuring that the family is educated and knows what to do to care for their child.”
Whether it's a broken limb, a severe trauma or worse, this team of pediatric nurses at Children’s Colorado in the Springs says they lean on each other to make it through the tough cases.
Kelly says, “For me personally - the hardest cases to deal with are the abuse. Unfortunately we see a lot of physical and sexual abuse in the work that we do here in the E.D. and I'm not sure the community is aware of how large those volumes are. You sometimes want to take those kids home with you, but I can't have fifty kids living with me. That's probably the hardest, just seeing the abuse. There is a positive side to that, and that is hopefully those days are over for that child and we get to be a part of taking them out of that environment.”
Ronnie says, “We wish that there didn't need to be a Children's hospital, but there does need to be one. We work every day to put ourselves out of business. Until then we are very happy to be the people that take care of our community's children. That's why we're here, to make them well when they're sick.”
Kelly says, “I would just like to thank my team here. I am so honored to be a part of this department in Colorado Springs and the service that we provide to not only our local area, but for the southern region. It fills my heart with pride that I'm part of this team.”
To learn more about Pediatric Nurse Week, you can visit the Society of Pediatric Nurse's website