Monday, October 15, 2007


This week was a challenging week in paediatrics. Although I am starting to get the hang of things on the floor and feel that I would be able to take more responsibility and more patients, I am also coming to the realization that paediatrics is not for me. The reason I say this is not because I do not like children, it’s because there are some circumstances for which paediatrics will be incredibly difficult. First, I think I like kids too much to see them in pain, and to see how much the parents are worried and scared for their child. Second, as much as kids can tell you a lot, a baby is unable to tell you what kind of pain they are in, and what is wrong with them, which makes working with them incredibly frustrating because you want to help but do not know how.

I found myself out of my element. I hate when kids cry. I mean, I really hate it. The reason I hate it that much is because of the uselessness I feel when working with them; I don’t know what is wrong with them, and I feel terrible that I cannot help them out. I also get incredibly frustrated because after some prolonged crying I feel as though nothing I have done has helped.

This week I had the opportunity to work with two little girls, one 3 years old, and one 23 months. The 3 year old had an undiagnosed mass midline and left lateral of her neck inferior to her hyoid bone. She was admitted because she had a fever, and a possible urinary tract infection along with the mass. Her foster mother had roomed in since Saturday with her, and had only left to go to the bathroom, and to have a shower (while the girl was with her foster father). The 23 month old had gotten caught in a conveyor at a dairy farm, and had a severe friction burn on her left lower arm. This friction burn required skin grafts, and unfortunately the first graft didn’t take- she had to have a second graft completed. This resulted in her having multiple dressings on her left arm, right arm, and left leg. Both girls had IVs as well as antibiotics to hang, which I feel more confident about giving.

I looked forward to the challenge of working with these two girls, as I had yet to work with anyone in paediatrics under the age of 11. They also seemed to have interesting medical cases, and their moms both were present, which made getting to know the girls a lot easier. The challenge for me, however, was when the 23 month old’s mom left. To give some backstory, this little girl had cried the entire beginning of the shift, a full 5 hours. At first, I thought the crying was because she was tired; her mom stated she hadn’t had a nap all day. We had gotten her to sleep for a bit, but because of protocols we had to check vitals every 5-10 minutes after giving morphine, so it ended up waking her up. Finally, at 8pm, we were able to get her to sleep. By this time I was exhausted; as you know I had spent earlier in the day with my brother for his knee surgery, and in total I was on my 18th hour of a 20 hour hospital day.

I dreaded going back and working with her the following day, as I knew the 23 month old girl would cry when she saw me. To my dismay she did, and also the 3 year old, generally a delight to work with, was acting up and crying too. Not only did I have 1 inconsolable crier, I now had two. Luckily, mom of the 3 year old took care of most of the crying, and helped out when I needed to do assessments. In the end, I spent over an hour and a half working with the 23-month-old, trying to console her after her mom left. I think she was finally comforted after she realized that I was not going to leave her alone.

I felt so helpless! Stop crying! Please stop! I think that I’ll have to black out for the first 5 years of my future children’s life, and let the hubby deal with it. I just can’t stand the crying.

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