Friday, October 29, 2004

Someone please please help me

Today was my first pediatric clinical day. The child was a good first patient as the patient wasn't too, too sick and my main challenge was simply communicating and understanding the child.

The child didn't speak in complete sentences but could quote from movies or TV shows perfectly. When I had to take my second set of vital signs, the mother helped me uncover her child's chest and the child started screaming "please stop...oh please help me...someone please please help me....ohhhhhh" in this eerie, extremely articulate voice straight out of some made-for-TV neglected child movie. Of course, a nurse rushed in to see what was going on. "Just a blood pressure," I told her, "nothing going on, nope, nothing." She probably would never ever have believed me if my patient's mother wasn't there, a witness to the fact that I wasn't abusing anyone.

Working with children seems to be one part nursing and equal parts simply dealing with children and parents. It's very different from OB and I'll see how it works out. I feel somewhat guilty because most people's reactions to pediatric patients is "Oh how can you stand to see a child suffering?" and all I am thinking is "oh please just let me listen to your damned chest."

Thanks for everybody's patient education suggestions. I haven't come up with a definitive idea yet but I'll keep you posted.

Uniform note:
Halloween celebrations were held on the floor today. My instructor allowed us to wear something a little more celebratory/scary than our uniforms and I wore a scrub top with smiling candy corns I received for my birthday. All of a sudden, I didn't look like a student. It was wonderful! People smiled at me instead of grinning or shaking their heads (nursing students always seem to inspire either one of these reactions), people didn't have to stare at my boob to see which school I was with and instead just passed me by, people assumed I knew things. Finally, people didn't giggle when my classmates and I are all crowded into the same elevator (and I suppose it is a funny sight to see identically-dressed young women with white shoes in a small space; white shoes are always funny).

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