My First Day of Pediatrics.
I learn a lot at my job. Here are the gems that came out of my first day of peds.
1. Don't ever, ever assume that just because you are a doctor, you are allowed to touch your patients. First, make sure to ask permission from the nurse, the peds staff, the senior resident, the child's parents, the baby herself, the cafeteria lady and the housekeeping staff.
2. If your patient is a newborn, you are not allowed to touch it while it is sleeping or after it has eaten. So if you need to do a physical exam, that leaves about 8 minutes in the early morning and another 4 minutes sometime in the afternoon. Nurses will enforce this rule with the ferocity of a rabid pit bull.
3. If there is a parent in the room, it is best to assume that they believe that you are there to do their child irreperable harm. Regardless of whether or not you actually intend to touch the child. In fact, the fastest way to befriend your patient's parents is to agree that everyone working at the children's hospital is horribly incompetent. Yourself included.
4. Many people in pediatrics have devoted their lives to children because they aren't that great at relating to adults.*
5. Every crib on the pediatrics floor will work slightly differently. Which means that you will look like an idiot trying to release the side of the damned thing for 10 minutes while the parents of your patient stand by, amused. It's hard to garner any respect after that.
6. Children are very different from adults. Don't ever think that anything you've learned in your previous 14 months of residency will prepare you for dealing with children.
7. Pediatricians and pediatric residents spend an inordinate amount of time discussing how no other physician in the medical universe knows the first thing about treating children.
8. Parents will describe every episode of vomiting as 'projectile' if it is coming out of their child. Even if it just dribbles down the front of their sleeper.
9. At some point in parenting school, parents learn that if they smoke outside their cigarette smoke cannot possibly have any effect on their child's asthma. This is a belief that they will defend and argue to the death.
10. Trying to get back into a regular schedule after two months of shift work requires copious quantities of caffiene.
* Vitamin K is, of course, the glaring exception to this rule. Cause she's just wonderful to everyone. Even when she's sleep deprived.