Work That Matters

From Adult Care to Pediatrics, One Nurse's Story

Learn how Bethany’s Experiences and Support from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Eventually Led Her to Achieving Her Goal of Becoming a Pediatric Nurse!

Many people may think that working in pediatrics is just like working with adults. Children are just smaller adults, so it must be the same, right? Pediatric health care is actually vastly different from adult care. Forms of treatment or medication that would normally be used on an adult can be potentially dangerous for children. The many differences between adult and child care may make a nurse apprehensive to transition to pediatrics. At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, we understand that making this change may not be easy, so we make sure that the transition for our future pediatric nurses are as smooth and comfortable as possible. But don’t take it from us! Meet Bethany, who recently came to CHLA from working in adult health care.

From a young age, Bethany knew that becoming a nurse was her calling. Growing up, her younger brother suffered from a chronic disease, causing him to be in and out of hospitals for most of their childhood. Over the years, she observed the relationship that nurses had with their patients. “They always patiently answered my questions, demonstrated what they were doing in a way that I could understand, and provided comfort for me, my brother and the rest of my family during the scary health times,” says Bethany. “Even then I knew that relationship was special and unique.”

Pediatric nursing was always Bethany’s goal. However, she wasn’t sure if she was ready to take on the responsibility. During nursing school, one of her professors suggested she start in the adult surgical field, as it would be a great start for new nurses to be able to build upon and improve foundational nursing skills. “I knew the challenges that concerned me before would still be there, but I felt ready to take them on because I had built up my nursing skills on a well-rounded foundation.”

“The experience I gained in adult medical and surgical gave me the confidence to take care of children, only this time with a brighter outlook of success.”

Bethany’s love for pediatric care, along with CHLA’s accommodating resources, encouraging environment and patient population, have created the perfect formula for Bethany’s success. “Children really are remarkable and resilient, and that has never been more obvious to me than when I am caring for them in the hospital,” says Bethany. “Helping make a child’s stay in the hospital more about playing, imagining and creating and less about medicine, scary procedures and pain definitely makes coming into work at CHLA worth it every time!”

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