Katy B., RN, sPNP
Specialty: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Student and Per-diem Pediatric Psych/Pediatric Crisis Stabilization
Katy, what are the 6 most interesting things about your specialty?
- I’m part nurse and part case manager. While half of my job is direct patient care, the other half is phone calls to gather collateral/coordinate next steps and working with our multidisciplinary team to ensure we have the most appropriate plan in place.
- Psych nurses work in a variety of settings. Our job descriptions can be incredibly different! I’ve only found a couple other facilities in my area that have nurses that do what I do.
- I am always assessing! While we do very few medical interventions on my unit, we are constantly doing mental status exams and being strategic about how we keep our kiddos safe.
- Transparency is everything. Discussing confidentiality and being a mandated reporter with young people in psychiatric crisis is SO incredibly important.
- Communication is key! Something else incredibly important is using active listening skills and therapeutic communication. It’s amazing how the way we handle a conversation can have such a huge impact on a kiddo struggling with their mental health.
- Scrubs are optional! We don’t have to wear scrubs! I choose to because they’re comfortable, hehe.
What is the number 1 thing you wish you had been told as a nursing student, and then Pediatric Nurse Practitioner student, before you started the program?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. I remember feeling like I had to absorb EVERY little thing when I started nursing school. I learned to become comfortable with the concept of drinking out of a firehose and holding on to what was important and going to make me a competent and safe nurse (and soon to be APRN). As I’m finishing up my last few months as a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) student, I can’t believe how far I’ve come!
Lastly, if you had 8 minutes to speak to the entire world on one issue in healthcare, what would you speak about?
I would talk about the affect of ACEs (adverse childhood experience) on the life trajectory of young people and how we need to be trauma-informed as healthcare professionals in order to provide the best care possible.
BONUS: So, you mention that you’re a PNP student. Are you doing a face-to-face program or an online program? How many days a week do you have class?
Face-to-face! Depending on the quarter, I’ve been in class 2-3 days a week and in clinical rotations 1-4 days a week.