Student voice

Being a parent helps me in children’s nursing

Chris Steele on how his personal experiences are used to enhance his caregiving 

Chris Steele on how his personal experiences are used to enhance his caregiving 


Picture: iStock

When I tell people who know me as a father that I want to become a children's nurse, they say: 'That will be too emotionally difficult.’

I understand such opinions, but my passion for children’s nursing drives me on.

It hasn't been easy. Being part of the care for a child in respiratory arrest; seeing the effect of life-limiting conditions and end of life care on children and young people and their families; or observing how unwanted variations increase health and developmental concerns – are all part of working life in children's care.

I would come home, embrace my children and cry. Not because I was upset, but because I was thankful that I have five healthy children, who I couldn't imagine life without.

'One thing that has made me become a stronger, more passionate nurse, is the understanding and empathy I have for other parents'

One thing that has made me become a stronger, more passionate nurse, is the understanding and empathy I have for other parents. I've been through times of uncertainty and fear when my own children have been unwell or rushed to hospital. 

As a children's nurse one of your primary responsibilities is to act as an advocate for the family and the child or young person you are caring for, ensuring their knowledge and feelings are heard and acted on. Who better to do this than someone who has been through that themselves?

Strive for the best care

The question I always ask myself is: ‘How would I want to be cared for if it was me or my child in this situation?’ Ensuring I deliver the best possible care to the entire family is something I always strive to achieve.

My message to parents is: don't allow feelings of emotional uncertainty to stop you from pursuing a career in children's nursing. Use your emotion and your experience as a parent to enhance your understanding and the care that you give.


About the author

Chris Steele is a third-year children's nursing student at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, England

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