I’m spending the next few weeks working shifts at one of the ER’s at a local children’s hospital. Before I started my first shift, I have to admit, I was pretty nervous. For obvious reason, this was something I was not familiar with, which made me a bit uneasy. I was worried I’d feel more like a veterinarian (their patients can’t talk either) than a doctor. In a panic, I read through all the Peds chapters in Rosen’s emergency medicine and crammed in a few pod casts just to hopefully get a few basics down. The reading definitely paid off as I knew what to say when the attending asked “So, what do you want to do?” after my first patient. And most of the ones after that too.
A few other thoughts after just a few shifts
- I’m actually really enjoying this. I didn’t think I’d like treating kids as much as I am. I don’t think I’d ever want to do it full time, but its a nice change of pace from our urban ED and ICU
- Maybe it’s because I don’t have to worry that any of my patients are just trying to scam narcotics out of me
- I hate congenital disease. All these rare one and a million things you read about in med school and cross your fingers you’ll never have to deal with cause who can actually remember this stuff and what all these eponym’s are about. My last patient of my first shift had VATER syndrome. And yes, I had to look it up too.
- 8 hours shifts are SOOOO much better than 10 hours shifts
- There are 3 residents covering 13 patient rooms, unlike the adult ED, where there are three residents for 28 rooms. At the most, I’ve had 4 patients at once, versus 10 or 11 in the adult ED. Again, world of difference in stress and time to relax, talk about patients, look stuff up.