What Are the Differences Between Pediatrician & Pediatric Nurse?

What Are the Differences Between Pediatrician & Pediatric Nurse?
What Are the Differences Between Pediatrician & Pediatric Nurse?

Although pediatricians and pediatric nurses are both health professionals who specialize in the treatment of children from infancy through early adulthood, the similarities stop there. Pediatricians and nurses have different educational paths, salaries, and duties, and their area of practice is different.

Pediatricians

A pediatrician is a doctor who specializes in caring for children from birth to the age of eighteen. Pediatricians complete their undergraduate education before enrolling in medical school. After medical school, a graduating physician must complete a residency program that lasts at least four years. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical education takes a minimum of 12 years and may take longer. Pediatricians must be licensed to practice in all states, and although certification is not required, most pediatricians prefer to do so since certain employers and insurance providers do. To keep their certification, pediatricians must attend continuing education classes and recertify every five years.

Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric Nurse
Pediatric Nurse

A license is also required to practice as a pediatric nurse. They may get an associate’s degree, a nursing diploma, or a four-year bachelor’s degree. Despite the fact that many professional organizations now suggest a bachelor degree as the optimum option, a nurse may take the NCLEX-RN licensure test with any of the three options. Nurses may choose to be certified or not, but certain employers may prefer or demand it. According to Explore Health Careers, a pediatric nurse must recertify every two years by completing continuing education or retaking the certification test.

Differences

The duration of education is one difference between a physician and a pediatric nurse. Even if a nurse pursues a PhD, she is unlikely to spend the same amount of time in school as a physician. The scope of practice of a pediatrician and a nurse is another distinction. A pediatrician is a doctor who oversees the treatment of children and may conduct major surgery, administer medicines, and arrange diagnostic testing. A pediatric nurse offers nursing care, which may involve administering medication that has been prescribed by a physician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages vary greatly. Pediatric nurses earned an average of $75,330 in 2020, depending on their degree of education, while pediatricians earn $184,570.

Some Similarities

Some Similarities
Some Similarities

Despite the fact that doctors and nurses study the same disciplines, such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and pharmacology, physicians prefer to go deeper into these topics. A physician’s focus is on therapy, while a nurse’s focus is on elements of patient care such as comfort and day-to-day management. Both professions are bound by a code of ethics and have particular legal obligations, such as reporting child abuse. They may work for a hospital or health care institution, although doctors may also work independently.

Other Considerations

Pediatricians, like the majority of doctors, are more likely to graduate with significant student debt. A pediatric registered nurse generally doesn’t have the same time constraints and works less hours, but she may be asked to perform night shifts, weekends, and holidays. Compassion and the ability to build relationships with children and parents are essential qualities for a pediatrician and pediatrician nurse.