What is a child health nurse?
Australia is one of only a handful of countries that train child health nurses. A child health nurse is a registered nurse who has undergone specialized education and training in order to qualify to facilitate well baby health checks, monitor children’s growth and development, provide maternal and child health information, and guide parents on ways to promote the physical and emotional health of their child.
What a child health nurse offers that a pediatrician doesn't?
Pediatricians provide treatment, care and support to both sick and well children. Their work is complex and multifaceted. The focus of their work is primarily on the physical health of the child. Providing parenting advice is only part of a pediatrician's role, whereas a child health nurse’s role specifically relates to facilitating well baby health check, providing health information and educating parents about the care of healthy babies and children.
The information and advice provided by our consultant child health nurses concerning problems that commonly affect healthy babies and toddlers, such as feeding difficulties (breast, bottle or solids), crying, unsettled behavior and sleeping problems, is predictably more detailed and individually specific than that provided by a medical doctor.
How a child health nurse differs from a pediatric nurse or midwife?
Each these specialist nurses care for babies and/or children. A significant part of their role is to provide parenting education; however, the education and training involved for each of these three specialty areas differs significantly.
The expertise of a pediatric nurse lies in caring for and educating parents to care for children who are ill or have disabilities. In addition to assisting with the birth, a midwife provides pre- and post-natal health education including the care of babies up to 1 month of age. A child health nurse supports parents by providing information and guidance on maternal health and the care of healthy children from birth to 18 years.
For UK visitors: How a child health nurse differs from a health visitor
Health visitors have broad range of knowledge related to illness and health promotion across the entire human life span, from birth to old age. Whereas child health nurses area of expertise relates specifically to promoting the health of babies and children to the age of 18 years. The information and advice provided by our consultant child health nurses regarding a problem affecting a physically well baby or toddler is likely to be more extensive than that from a health visitor.