Everything You Need To Know About A Career In Pediatrics
Whether you’re absolutely stumped about what type of career to pursue or already know you’d like to work in the healthcare sector, here is everything you need to know about pediatrics.
What pediatricians do?
Those that work in pediatrics specialize in diagnosing, treating and preventing disease or injuries in children.
They work specifically with kids to assess growth and development, and prescribe medications, therapies and vaccinations along the way.
If your child has a minor illness or acute health problem, it’s likely they’ll be referred to a pediatrician by the GP.
How much do pediatricians earn?
There are several factors that determine how much you can earn as a pediatrician. The first, of course, is how much experience you have in the field or in other healthcare sectors. Another is what types of qualifications you have.
On average, those specializing in pediatrics can earn around $89 an hour. Those just starting in the profession can expect an annual sum of around $69,000 while more experienced staff could earn around $208,000.
With such a big difference, it’s always important to research where you can find the best wages, and what qualifications you need to upgrade your pay bracket.
What qualifications do pediatricians need?
There are two main ways to get into pediatrics. The first would be to take on a PhD, as well as Post-Doctoral Training.
However, if you have already started your career or would prefer to get to work quicker than a doctorate allows, there are pediatric acute care nurse practitioner programs available for those who have already started a career in nursing and want to specialize.
Those that aren’t already in medical or health professions need not worry. A huge number of people choose nursing as a second career, and qualifying is incredibly accessible. Online nursing degrees allow people from across the world to get high quality education in the comfort of their own homes. Once you have your initial nursing qualification, you’ll then be able to go down a specialist pediatric route.
Nurse practitioners tend to have more control and autonomy than general nurses. You’ll be able to prescribe and dispense medications, some practitioners are even able to open up their own practices without a doctor required.
Is pediatrics right for me?
When considering any career, there are plenty of pros and cons to take into consideration.
When becoming a pediatrician or nurse practitioner in pediatrics, you’ll need to be a keen problem solver that’s results orientated. The career is in high demand, making it a lucrative profession to pursue if you’re just starting out.
But with all pros, there are downsides.
If you’re the type of person that thrives off of starting and completing projects, you might struggle with the long-term challenges of the role.
The other major difficulty of the job is that it’s incredibly hard to get into. You’ll need a vast amount of skill, knowledge and experience in order to succeed.
Lastly, as most people don’t go into healthcare for the work-life balance, it’s no surprise that the job of a pediatrician can involve long and unsociable hours.
What key skills do pediatricians need?
While anyone can study a degree, get the academics and practical methods down, not everyone will have the soft skills needed to finish the job.
There are several key skills you’ll need in order to be a great pediatrician. Some skills come naturally, but there are still plenty of ways to develop and enhance soft skills throughout daily life and with online courses.
To get started, here are a few key skills you’ll need as a pediatrician, that won’t necessarily be learned during your degree.
Anyone can listen. But not everyone really hears what’s being said. As a pediatrician, you’ll be speaking to different medical staff, families and children at different points in the day. Being able to really listen to what they’re saying will be integral for finding the right diagnosis, treatment and support.
You may have to listen to children trying to explain their symptoms,or hear their parent’s concerns or previous medical history. While listening to what’s being said, you’ll also need to be able to read between the lines. Depending on financial pressure or other family issues, parents may be holding back information which is crucial for treatment. Try to ask parents as many questions as possible to so that you give yourself the most information to work with.
A Way with Kids
If you’ve always been the designated babysitter, or seem to get along well with kids, this skill will certainly help you thrive in the pediatric field. Health facilities, tests and needles are all pretty scary – never mind just for kids! Pediatricians need to have the knack for putting kids at ease in stressful scenarios, making them laugh when they need it most and generally being able to create an open and comfortable environment.
Good Communication Skills
Alongside active listening, pediatricians need to be able to clearly communicate with their patients and families regarding treatments, diagnosis and health advice. When treating children, it’s essential that everyone is on the same page and knows exactly what is expected of them. Nothing should be left unsaid.
Social & Cultural Awareness
No matter where you’re based, you’ll be working with children from a variety of different backgrounds. Their families may have different viewpoints on race, class, gender and healthcare. In order to provide the best treatment for your patients, you’ll need to be welcoming, create a trusting environment but be weary to not overstep boundaries.
You’ll learn about a vast number of conditions and illnesses while studying pediatrics. But to go with it, you’ll need a level of intuition to be able to identify symptoms in emergency situations. Being able to identify whether something is seriously wrong or simply a common malady could save a life.
So, with a wide range of soft skills, your degree under your wing and a passion for helping others, you will likely find pediatrics a fulfilling yet challenging career to pursue.