Friday, June 8, 2012

Peds? Really?

First of all, I love pediatrics!

Children are such completely different animals. My experience so far with pediatrics has been fairly limited to the odd asthma, RSV, gastro, or rash that presents to general emergency. But working exclusively in a pediatric emergency department has been a completely different reality. I have really been enjoying the challenge of trying to connect with children, like figuring out ways to make clinical exams tolerable to them or jazzing up the neuro exam to make it like a game. I get to be kind of silly and fun, disguising the seriousness of it all. It's a treat, especially when you can get on the level with a kid. Most of them seem to lack the hang-ups that adults have around illness and disease. They are stoic but not in the look how stoic I am being, so stoic that I am actually not providing accurate information to my health care providers way that adults are. There is a different kind of job satisfaction that comes with helping to name a new teddy bear (Mr. Fall off the Wall) or getting an energetic high-five from a kid who was burying himself in his mother's skirt for most of the history. 

Plus, I always thought that (because I am really not that great with kids in the real world) I'd dislike pediatrics. And then there is the crazy parents, who also frighten me. But it seems that crazy parents are not as common as I'd imagined. Or maybe I am just not noticing them because my interaction time with parents is more limited, compared to when I was nursing.

The hospital is beautiful, brand new, and completely child-centered. T.V in every room, popsicle fridges at every corner. The staff seem to really love their work. I'm so impressed at how they are able to balance between the focused intensity of acute care while making it fun and minimally scary for the wee patients. Everyone is just so nice. Maybe it is harder to be a curmudgeonly pediatrician or crotchety nurse, I don't know.

It's been a great learning experience also, being put in with the residents for all of their teaching sessions and tutorials. Their simulation training has a dedicated faux trauma bay in the department, complete with all the drugs, pumps, and machines that go bing! We did a session on Thursday with mannequins that are very realistic (heart, breath, bowel sounds, as well as pulses, intubatable throats, seizure capability, etc.). All the mock codes were run in real time, that is, you wouldn't just say, "I would start an IV and give ceftriaxone", you actually assign the task of IV start to one of the team, they put in a line, someone draws up the actual drug and sets up the infusion. The enthusiasm to teach and job satisfaction of the attendings is contagious and I must admit I look forward to every shift.

It is strange though, being in a new city. I feel like I am regressing as an adult. No phone, no car, no idea how the city is laid out. I walked for over an hour in the hopes of buying a new burner only to  find they were sold out. The saleswoman kindly advised me to call ahead next time. I gently pointed out that I didn't have a phone, hence why I was trying to purchase one! Sigh.

And so, getting settled in. Trying to enjoy each day for what it offers. I have already managed to locate and join a yoga studio for the month, so at least some physical activity will take place. Did I mention there is also a very decent wine store down the street allowing me to finally taste my favorite American grapes again (in Ireland you're lucky to find Ernest & Julio). It's Friday night, I'm post hot-yoga and ready for a glass of red and my new book.

Back to work tomorrow, the adventure continues.


Liana said...

So it sounds like my university came to its senses and let you come for an elective?

Albinoblackbear said...

Yes, Liana it was a little touch and go there for a while! So delighted to be here. :)

OMDG said...

ABB -- I felt the same way about peds. As for the parents, at least most of them genuinely want to the best for their kids, even if this can make them difficult to deal with sometimes. I'd take that any day over granny dumping.

Liana said...


Not yay about being carless. We have one of the crappiest transit systems ever. Want to go downtown during rush hour? No problem. Anywhere else? IMPOSSIBLE.

I really liked my week in the peds ER back in med school. The staff I worked with were awesome.

Absentbabinski said...

Glad to hear you're enjoying paeds and being back in Canada!

Shame about being 'phoneless, but I'm sure it's not holding you back - Hopefully not internet/ Skypeless, I'm in need of another therapy session sometime soon!

ForeverChanging said...

Welcome back! I love this hospital so do my kids (the few times we ended up in emerge there). I've been lurking in the background and reading your blog for a while now. So happy for you coming back to AB for a bit. With the new hospital opening in the south of C there is a doctor shortage. Here is to hopes! M.