Ethical issues of a pediatric nurse

doctor and patient 26 image by Paul Moore from

Paediatric nurses are trained in child development, health care and diseases of children. They deal with infants all the way up to adolescent children. These types of nurses specialise in examining both the physical and psychosocial well-being of a child.

The ethical issues paediatric nurses face can be quite challenging at times, as they must often professionally solve conflicts involving a family’s personal values.

Coping Skills

If a child is recently diagnosed with a serious condition, it can be quite overwhelming for both the child and family members. A paediatric nurse has the responsibility of helping both the parents and child learn to cope with a serious illness.

Restraining a Child

There are certain procedures that require paediatric nurses to restrain a child. In some situations it’s absolutely necessary in order to protect their safety; for example, if a child is in need of stitches but refuses to hold still, the child would need to be retrained for the procedure.

Refusing Treatment

The parent ultimately has the right to refuse treatment for their child, as children are minors. Therefore, it can be quite challenging for a nurse to have to pull a child from life support or not give a child certain treatments that may help them recover, when the nurse feels that it’s ethically right to do so.

Religious Beliefs

Despite a paediatric nurse’s spiritual or religious beliefs, she must comply with the family’s beliefs, not allowing her own feelings to personally get in the way.

Accepting Reality

Losing a child can be the most difficult thing a family will ever go through. However, a paediatric nurse must help family members understand when there is nothing else that can be done in order to save the child. In some cases, parents refuse to accept this, and want to perform more treatments.