Nash UNC Health Care hosts third annual pediatric conference
On May 30, Nash UNC Health Care hosted its third annual, full-day conference for pediatric health care professionals. Nurses from local pediatric practices, nursing students, EMS personnel, school nurses, as well as pediatric nurses from Nash UNC attended.
Presenters included pediatricians from UNC and Vidant Hospitals. Topics included pediatric sepsis, asthma and seizures in the emergency department, reporting dilemmas in child maltreatment, and common urology and endocrinology issues.
Tiffany Young, a pediatric nurse practitioner with Nash UNC Health Care and one of the organizers for the event, said, “Our new emergency department opened in 2014 and included a dedicated pediatric department to address the special needs and treatment of children, from infants to adolescents. All of our pediatric teams are specially trained to take care of our younger patients, and we wanted to share our passion for children’s health with all the pediatric nurses in our community – so the idea of hosting these conferences was born.”
Kimberly Riddick, Registered Nurse and Staff Development Coordinator with Nash UNC Health Care, explains that one of the primary purposes for creating and hosting the conference was to address the ways in which pediatric care is different from caring for adults.
“Vital sign ranges, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration, are different from adults. Their airways are shaped differently, treatments often have to allow for growth factors, and any invasive procedure can be met with fierce resistance,” she said.
Young explains that caring for young children requires tremendous patience and excellent communication skills with both children and parents.
“Many children, especially the very young, are often unable to describe their pain and can’t provide information that is helpful to healthcare providers,” she said. “Many topics covered in our pediatric conferences relate to best practices for pediatric emergency care. As might be expected, the majority of the children we see in our emergency department are treated and able to go home. A very small percentage will be admitted or transferred to another specialized hospital for extended care.”
The pediatric emergency department has seen nearly 55,000 children since opening four years ago, about 20% of the total emergency department visits.
“Nash UNC’s pediatric emergency department excels when compared with national benchmarks; specifically, how quickly patients are seen by a doctor, how well we control their pain, and how well we prepare them for home care,” said Kim Langston, director of Nash UNC Health Care’s Emergency Department. “Many parents comment on how quickly their children are seen and treated, and also on how positive their overall experience is. Our team is very proud of the exceptional care we provide our patients.”
In addition, community support for the Pediatric Emergency Department has been tremendous. Countless churches, civic groups, clubs, schools, and individuals have donated stuffed animals, toys, books, monies, and other items for the children.
If you are interested in getting on the mailing list for next year’s pediatric conference at Nash UNC Health Care, please contact Tiffany Young at 252-962-8301; email Tiffany.Young@unchealth.unc.edu, or Kimberly Riddick at 252-962-8890; email Kimberly.Riddick2@unchealth.unc.edu.