Community Children’s Nurses
Child nursing involves everything from nursing a sick newborn to an adolescent road accident victim.
Children have very specific health needs and practitioners need to understand how a healthy child develops towards adulthood, to minimise the impact of illness. Nurses consider the care and support needed by the wider family, including parents and carers.
Children and their families can find it easier to receive treatment at home, rather than attending hospital, for certain conditions.
Communication is also a major factor when treating children. Adults can express their feelings and can identify the severity and nature of pain. A child may not be able to communicate this in such detail and the nurse needs to interpret child’s behaviour and reactions. Children’s nurses need to be able to spot when a child’s health takes a turn for the worse, which can often happen rapidly.
To ensure that the needs of all ill and disabled children are met, four groups of children and young people have been identified as needing services (NHS At Home: Community Children’s Nursing Services (NHS 2011). These are:
- children with acute and short-term conditions;
- children with long-term conditions;
- children with disabilities and complex conditions, including those requiring continuing care and neonates; and
- children with life-limiting and life-threatening illness, including those requiring palliative and end-of-life care.
Community children’s nursing (CCN) services are the bedrock of the pathways of care for these groups of children.
Health Careers gives more information about what is involved in the role.