What is a Pediatric Ventilator Nurse?

April 20, 2021
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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If you’re a healthcare professional — or interested in a career in nursing — you’re well aware that there are many different branches in the profession. Some provide you with the training and skill set required to diagnose healthcare conditions and design treatment plans. Others are more focused on ensuring patient comfort. But, what is a pediatric ventilator nurse? What are the job duties? And — if you’re already one — how can you find great job opportunities?

What is a pediatric ventilator nurse?

Nurses who work in ventilator units are tasked with taking care of pediatric patients with complex respiratory conditions — such as pneumonia, pleural effusion, and pulmonary malformations, and recipients of lung transplants, to name a few. It is for this reason that the position requires high educational thresholds. This means that in order to work as a pediatric ventilator nurse, you need to be a registered nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The position requires an Associate Degree in Nursing (AND) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), passing the NCLEX-RN exam, and being licensed by the State.

For individuals who already have a Bachelor’s Degree in a career other than nursing, you can still become a registered nurse by enrolling in an accelerated BSN program — which allows you to apply some of your degree credits towards a BSN.

In addition to the educational requirements, pediatric ventilator nurses are required to have basic life support certification and extensive previous nursing experience. It’s also essential to be aware of the most common associated complications and how to treat them.

Job Duties of a Pediatric Ventilator Nurse

The job duties of a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse who attends to pediatric patients on a ventilator require detailed familiarity with the process of artificial respirators and related equipment. These include:

  • Intubation
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Assessing oxygen saturation
  • Cardiac monitors
  • Blood pressure gauges
  • Titration
  • Oximetry readings
  • Mental status changes
  • Arterial blood gas (ABG) values remain within an expected range
  • Suctioning
  • Taking care of ventilator tubing
  • Manual ventilation

Depending on the pediatric patient’s health condition, different types of ventilation could be required, including continuous, intermittent, pressure support, or synchronous ventilation. Since these treatments can make the difference between life and death, it’s crucial that pediatric ventilator nurses are well-versed on each method — and how to recognize when a child needs any of them.

This type of nursing also requires being on high alert, remaining calm under pressure, and thinking quickly on your feet. This is especially important because, in most instances, patients on ventilators — especially young children — can’t tell you when something is wrong. It is up to you to monitor them closely and figure it out.

In addition, you must constantly watch for signs of infection. Pediatric patients on mechanical ventilators are susceptible to infections — with the risk being higher in children with pneumonia.

Pediatric ventilator nurses also need to be familiar with emergency equipment — and ensure they are in the room with the child at all times. This will ensure they receive immediate care in the event the child pulls out their tubing or if there’s a power failure.

Pediatric Ventilator Nurse Opportunities at Care Options for Kids

At Care Options for Kids, we primarily work with pediatric patients. We strive to make the experience as positive as possible by matching our caregivers with clients’ specific needs and personalities. In addition, we offer the following benefits based on certain measurement periods to eligible/qualifying employees to assist in managing the health of you and your family:

  • Competitive pay
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Paid time off
  • Health and dental insurance
  • 401K with company match
  • Weekly Pay
  • 24/7 On-Call Support
  • CEU Credits
  • Nurse Referral Bonuses
  • Training Opportunities
  • PPE will be provided

If you’re a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse licensed and looking for career opportunities in a home health care setting, we’d love to hear from you. Visit our careers page or contact us at (888) 592-5855 for more information.