The Paediatric rotation is over, for now. I enjoyed it even more than last year, and I’m becoming more and more certain that I will try to get into a Paeds program for specialisation on day.
Some things that stand out: (you’ll notice that few of them are exclusively good or exclusively bad)
…and I thought I got too attached: I don’t know what happened between this year and last. Last year it felt like children hated me. This year, quite a number of them attached themselves to me. I learned the art of examining a child while it sits on my lap. I also learned that these children scream when you leave.
Children scream: I have never returned home so often with a headache. And it’s not just when they need bloods drawn. Sometimes it’s just infectious – one screams and the others join in. One also begins to differentiate between a scream that says “I’m hungry”, “I’m miserable”, “I’m in pain” or “I want my mommy.”
Hold tight your stethoscope: When children are afraid of the stethoscope, I usually listen to their mom’s chest (if she is there) or one of the students’. Then I let the child listen to my heart, so that they will let me listen to their’s. Some little ones decided they liked this new toy too much and wouldn’t give it back.
Sanitise everything: A child with oral thrush decided to use my steth as a teething ring. I almost forgot to sanitise it afterwards… Can one get thrush of the ear? I wasn’t going to take the chance!
Your teachers can ruin it: Paediatricians have the potential to ruin this field for me. I don’t understand how people who are so nice to children can be so rude to adults (if you can even consider students adults). Maybe I just rub them up the wrong way.
Children are strong: I am amazed by how quickly little children get better. One day they’re in respiratory distress, or shock, or in a coma; and then the clever doctors realise what’s wrong and the next day they want to go back to school. Sadly… children do die. It is the most horrid thing about Paediatrics.
But if you save them: Paediatricians get to influence the child’s whole life. Save their life, and you might give them a good 70 years. It might sound a little idealistic but… I like that.