The Attitude of Gratitude Through the Eyes of a Child


All my nursing experience is in the area of pediatrics. I LOVE working with children. I have been asked on numerous occasions, “How can you take care of sick children? Doesn’t it break your heart?” At times, my heart was broken into pieces. I grieved with a couple who held their five month old baby while he took his last breath. His lips went from pale to blue as his spirit was lifted from him. This particular infant I am talking about was the first time I experienced death. I went in the break room and almost couldn’t come out. Why did I come out? Why did I come back to work the next day?

I love working in the are of pediatrics, taking care of children, because I get the reward of looking into the eyes of a sweet, innocent child who tells me thank you (sometimes even after I have given him/her a shot!). Children are simple. They want their basic needs met. Take a look at Erikson’s stages of development.


Infants just wants trust. A person to feed them, hold them, change their diaper, and most importantly, love them. Toddlers wants to explore within given boundaries. When we tell them “no” all the time they can develop shame & doubt. Pre-schoolers wants to take initiative. They may want to tie their own shoes. When we are in a rush and say, “Hurry up. Just let me do it.” We take over, but we can see the guilt in their faces because they think they did something wrong. Grade-schoolers or school-age children need to develop social skills and learn. When we put them in a bubble and try to protect them all the time, they feels inferior. Finally, teenagers want to understand their identity or they get confused about who they are.

Children are all different, but they usually have not experienced many of the emotional turmoil and baggage that adults have faced. I love working with children in the hospital setting because they usually get better, and their sweet spirits are usually so grateful for any little thing I help them with.

I have worked with children who were in and out of the hospital all the time. Their attitude of gratitude makes me feel like I have no place to complain about anything. Basically, I love working with children because I get to be one of the individuals who helps them get better, but these innocent children have no idea how much they help me to be a better person by their sweet examples of gratitude.


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