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Caring for Sick Children - General Paediatric Nursing Update

  • : Surry Hills NSW 2010

2 Day Seminar for General Nurses


As a nurse, are you ever required to care for a sick or injured child even though it is not your specialty area of nursing? Attend this program and be informed about modern general paediatric nursing care. Includes:

  • What must you consider when assessing a sick or injured child
  • How much should you involve the parents in a child’s immediate care?
  • What to do in an asthma attack
  • Immunisation updates
  • Managing sepsis in children
  • Preventing injuries from nursery equipment and toys


Need for Program

In Australia, most seriously unwell and severely injured children are cared for in dedicated tertiary hospitals – usually located in major cities. Though paediatric expertise is invariably clustered in and around these centres of excellence, children become ill or injure themselves at any time and in any place, meaning their first point of contact is likely to be a nurse outside of these centres. Such nurses need regular access to education that enables them to be safe and confident when caring for children and their families. Understanding modern paediatric concepts and improving knowledge about the care required for a sick or injured child is essential if positive health outcomes are to be achieved.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this program is to provide an update to general nurses on the appropriate evidenced care of children who experience an illness or injury and also to address preventative measures to reduce hospital admission.

Your Learning Outcomes

  • Correctly and swiftly assess a sick or injured child, based on knowledge of the main anatomical and physiological differences between children and adults
  • Provide care to a child that reflects evidenced-based treatment that is age and developmentally appropriate
  • Provide a sick or injured child in your care with appropriate, evidence-based interventions to prevent further deterioration
  • Provide a child in your care and their family with holistic, family-centred communication
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Enjoy a Refreshing Drink


    Children Are NOT Little Adults – Babies Are NOT Little Children

    Babies and children have distinct care needs compared to adults. Although it is obvious that anatomical and developmental differences exist, there is also a range of more subtle differences that nurses must know about when working with this younger patient group. This session looks at a broad range of essential differences between babies, children, and adults and includes:

    • How does fluid distribution vary across the ages and why is it important?
    • The full complement of alveoli are not fully developed until 8 years of age; how does this impact on young children?


    Family-Centred Holistic Care

    A child or infant’s illness can have profound effects on the family. A family-centred approach is important to developing positive relationships between the child, family, and health care providers to maximise positive outcomes for the infant or child.

    10:30am - Morning Tea


    Assessment of a Sick or Injured Child

    Children are different to adults and they can have quite different illnesses and injuries. The manner in which a child is assessed also differs to that of an adult. This important session looks at why this is the case and explains how to perform a rapid and effective assessment of a child who is sick or injured. It will include:

    • How can you identify a child who is likely to have a serious illness or injury?
    • Sleeping baby – How do you assess for level of consciousness?


    Recognising Deterioration in Babies and Children

    Babies and children deteriorate fast. As a result, nurses must be very vigilant and respond rapidly. This session reviews key signs that indicate deterioration is occurring and includes:

    • The differences between deterioration for infants and children compared to adults. Do you know them?
    • Is hypotension an early or late sign of deterioration and why?
    • How often should you assess a child whose condition may deteriorate?

    12:45pm - Lunch and Networking


    Allergies and Anaphylaxis – Becoming More Common

    Rashes, coughing, abdominal pains, and nausea may all be signs of allergies in children. It is often difficult to identify the allergen and develop management strategies. This session includes:

    • Is it anaphylaxis and, if so, what should you do?
    • How is hospital management of anaphylaxis different?
    • Does everyone with an allergy need to have an EpiPen?


    Holistic Management of Atopic Dermatitis – Eczema

    Although eczema is a relatively benign condition, it is hugely problematic for those who suffer from the condition and their families. This inflammatory condition is chronic and manifests in a range of ways. This session looks at:

    • How can you provide holistic care to children and their families when eczema is an ongoing condition?
    • How can “flare-ups” be averted?
    • What evidenced treatments exist?

    3:15pm - Afternoon Tea


    Asthma – Gasping for Air?

    Asthma continues to be a major health issue in Australia. The recent asthma storm highlighted how fatal this condition can be. Once a child has asthma, their lungs could be affected lifelong. Find out:

    • What to do if the child cannot breathe
    • The criteria for assessing the severity of an asthma attack
    • How to manage an acute asthma attack

    4:30pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Ingestions that Can Be Deadly

    Children ingest a wide variety of medications, objects, and other substances that may have serious consequences. In children under six years of age, it is more likely to be accidental, but, at any age, it is not always easy to identify the substance. This session looks at:

    • Which ingestions have serious consequences?
    • How do you assess a child who has ingested an unknown substance?
    • Is the ingestion truly accidental? Could you tell the difference?


    Drowning – A Silent Death

    Unfortunately, drowning remains the most common cause of trauma death in children under the age of five years. The initial management of a drowned child has changed in recent years. This session reviews modern evidenced management in such situations, including:

    • What are the immediate priorities of care for a drowned child?
    • How do you care for a child in the acute care setting?
    • Does it make a difference if the child drowns in fresh or salt water?

    10:30am - Morning Tea


    Is Fever Good for You?

    When a child has a fever, medicines such as paracetamol and NSAIDs are often promoted in the community for use with babies and children. But what is the evidence for this type of treatment of a fever? This session looks at childhood fevers and considers best practice holistic nursing care, including:

    • Are there benefits for allowing fever in an infant or child?
    • What are the parameters for body temperature and when does a fever become dangerous?
    • What are the evidenced ways to manage fever?
    • Should medicines be used to manage fever?


    Sepsis – from Neonate to Adolescent

    Sepsis can be insidious and many paediatric deaths due to sepsis are preventable. Early recognition and appropriate management is essential to save lives. This session will update you on:

    • What are the signs of sepsis?
    • Are there any investigations that are specific for identifying sepsis?
    • As well as antibiotics, what other treatments are required for the septic paediatric patient?

    1:00pm - Lunch and Networking


    Update on Childhood Immunisation

    In Australia, infectious disease continues to remain a real and present danger. Immunisation is known to be a preventer and protector against these harmful diseases. As immunisation schedules are continually changing, nurses need to frequently update their knowledge in this area. This session includes:

    • Why bother with immunisation for:
      • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella?
      • Diphtheria, Polio, and Tetanus?
    • What new immunisations are emerging and why?
    • What immunisations are part of the schedule and which have to be paid for?
    • When should they be given?
    • What are the consequences of failure to immunise?


    Tiny People Require Special Care

    Neonates provide a particular challenge when being cared for outside of a maternity unit or neonatal unit. They present for primary care for many reasons, from minor problems that cause great concern for their parents, to life-threatening conditions. This session includes:

    • How is assessing a neonate different?
    • What clinical problems are commonly seen in neonates outside of the neonatal unit?
    • What equipment is required when caring for neonates?

    3:15pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Preventing Injuries from Nursery Equipment and Toys

    This final session tells the story of a range of injuries that babies and children have sustained from everyday equipment. It includes:

    • When high chairs are too high
    • When baby carriers do harm
    • Unwelcome surprises in the toy box
    • Dummies that do not pacify
    • Cribs and cradles – not always a rock-a-bye-baby!

    4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Gerry Silk

    Gerry Silk

    Gerry has many years of paediatric nursing experience, including 16 years in the Emergency Department of the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. The last 10 years at this renowned hospital were spent as a clinical nurse educator. Gerry currently works part-time as a paediatric nurse educator at the Angliss Hospital in Melbourne and runs her own business in paediatric health education. Her teaching is consistently highly evaluated by participants who attend her lectures. Gerry is also the author of the highly successful Ausmed book entitledCare of Sick Children: A Basic Guide.

Caring for Sick Children - General Paediatric Nursing Update
Speciality Classification
Interest Areas / Topics Covered
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11 hours
Start Date
End Date
11 hours
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Surry Hills NSW 2010
Rydges Sydney Central, 28 Albion Street
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