Although there were no sudden flashes of perception or insight, I was not visited by any wise men (or wise women—maybe in the form of Florence Nightingale?), nor did I experience any other surreal epiphanies causing me to exclaim “Eureka!” in the middle of doing a straight cath, pediatrics was definitely one of my better clinical experiences thus far.
So just a few things I’ve come away from this rotation with…
I now (to my children’s dismay) calculate safe dose ranges before I give my kids any medicine, even Tylenol. I’ve also gotten into the habit of calling drugs by their generic names and forget that I do so until I get a dumbfounded look from my husband after asking him to pass me the acetaminophen.
The fact that I have three children ranging in ages up to eleven has also helped me appreciate some of the more theoristic (is that a word?) stuff that you learn in pediatrics—which to be honest, up to this point has for the most part gone in one ear and out of the other. Take Erikson for instance. My four-year-old is definitely in the midst of the whole initiative vs. guilt stage. She doesn’t need you to tie her shoes, she can and wants to do it herself…and I have to force myself to let her—even if it takes five, or ten, whole minutes—for-one-shoe (oy vey). Same thing with the zippers and the buttons on the sweaters and jackets. Though if she could tear her attention away from NickJr. for a couple of minutes that might speed the process up a bit…
Even Freud wasn’t as out there as I’d originally thought he was. That Oedipus-Electra complex stuff may actually have a ring of truth to it. I don’t know about the penis envy and all that but my daughter is definitely a daddy’s girl and I am her number one competition. She makes sure to let me know that my husband is her daddy; don’t touch her daddy, etc. And she’s always talking all this “Mommy’s in the red, Daddy’s in the green” nonsense—what’s that all about? LOL.
This rotation I also felt more like a nurse and less like a PCA (no offense to my PCAs, but that’s not what I’m paying $500/credit to learn to be). This semester I got to do a lot more “real” nursing stuff and not just vital signs, AM care, and changing sheets (though I can miter like nobody’s business). Since the patient population we were working with consisted of mostly spinal cord injuries and scoliosis (i.e. post-op spinal fusion, veptr, halo, etc.), there were plenty of straight caths to go around (and to think I used to be scared to do those…), plus lots of IV meds, and pin care. Dealing with children and adolescents I got to practice my art of persuasion (or I guess in nursing it’s called “therapeutic communication”) to encourage them to meet their goals, where it was to increase their fluids or work on becoming more independent with their ADLs.
So all in all I think my pediatric rotation went pretty well. I also not only made benchmark on the peds HESI, but it was my highest scoring HESI exam to-date. 🙂