I finally started my pediatric rotation! I was so excited/scared about it that I could hardly sleep the night before. What if I can't handle the kids? What if I totally SUCK at working with kids? I had been reading about all the different play techniques to persuade children to let me do my job. It had sounded very difficult.
Lucky for me, my first patient was an eight year old. This meant that I could talk to child and the child was very cooperative. (Yessssss!)
Halloween, Sponge Bob, and Tape
We had an animated discussion about Halloween costumes and Sponge Bob (Thank goodness I knew just barely enough about Sponge Bob to keep up with the conversation.) Apparently Halloween is a hot topic among kids right now. I'll have to remember all my holidays so I can use them as distraction topics.
I almost cried when I had to pull tape off to remove some IV's. The tape was firmly stuck to the child's arm hair. Poor child... there was so much tape, so much hair, and so much pain :( We had to experiment together to see whether is was less painful to rip fast or rip slowly. The answer seemed to depend on the amount of hair involved and the particular type of tape I happened to be pulling off. Grr...
My time with my first patient was limited as the child was discharged pretty early in the day. I wandered around the hallways helping my classmates out and visiting with little kids. It was really fun.
My favourite was helping one of my classmates out with a baby. She had to run off to get some medication ready and I got to hold the baby while she was gone. The baby was very fussy and upset, but some rocking, singing, and soothing later, the baby was snoozing in my arms. It was so sweet :) Cuddles with babies are the best :)
Soon, I was running out of things to do. My teacher (the best teacher EVER) asked if I would like to spend the rest of my afternoon observing at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I could barely contain my excitement. The NICU is where I would like to work one day!
Up I went to the NICU. I had to surgical wash my hands (up to my elbows!) I thought that was super cool, partly because I also enjoyed my experience observing in the operating room in semester 3.
NICU First Impression
My first impression of the NICU was that it was really hot and humid. It's kind of like a tropical area because of all the moisture and heat that is needed to keep the babies in womb-like conditions. Then I saw all the specialized incubator boxes that they keep the babies in. They are all covered with a blanket so that it stays dark inside the incubators.
I got to peek into all the "boxes" and look at the tiny babies, the nurses told me about how the different babies got there and how they were kept alive, and I even got to see a surgery! A doctor and a medical student inserted an umbilical vein catheter and they positioned me strategically so that I got an awesome view. Oh, it was my lucky day!
I really enjoyed my time there. The nurses were super nice. I loved that they took me around as they fed the babies and cared for them so that I could watch what they were doing. They would explain to me about what they were doing, why as they did it, and answered all my questions. I was really impressed.
I have to say, compared to Mental Health, this Pediatric rotation seems more natural to me. I really wanted to help the mental health patients, but I feel really comfortable on the Pediatric ward. Part of what makes this rotation especially nice for me is that all the really sick children are transferred to Children's Hospital. So the kids on my ward are usually pretty healthy. That means that I actually get to see my hard work end in success when the kids feel better and go home. There's something to be said about feeling good about your job.
I noticed that some of the nurses don't really love Pediatrics though. Some of them are transferring out to other areas like Public Health. They tried out Pediatrics and it wasn't really their thing. That's not to say that they aren't super Pediatric nurses though. They were kind of fantastic (so it's a shame they are leaving!). I guess I'll find out eventually what area I love too. So far, Peds is not so bad at all...
Have a great week!
P.S. - The pictures are from my stroll at the edge of the woods! The mushrooms just popped up one morning and I had to take some pics to show you. They are literally about 6 inches or bigger in size each! Cool, huh?