Tuesday, October 23, 2018

What Residency Looks Like XXXXIIII: Blooming


The Neonatal ICU where I am currently rotating has a large coloring sheet hanging on the wall near the family lounge. When I was on night shifts, I stopped by a few times to add to the picture. The little pink flowers on the light green vine in the center are my handiwork. It's a good metaphor for the growth I've gone through this month. I was really trepidatious about working in the NICU triage area, as our major responsibility is to attend high-risk deliveries and resuscitate newborns in distress. It has been more than 2 years since the last time I rotated through the NICU and more than 1 year since I did my baby CPR training. Further, I had heard from other residents that the days are long, especially the 7a on Saturday to 7am on Sunday shift. Thankfully I have been assigned to work with another resident (except for that pesky 24-hour shift!). My first companion went to my first several deliveries with me, and for the really risky ones, the fellow has been there too. One fellow went out of her way to not only do practice drills with us but also to debrief with us after emergencies--especially the night I had to resuscitate 3 out of 4 infants. Best of all, NICU is a really interdisciplinary area of medicine, so a nurse is always at my side, and a respiratory therapist is only a phone call away. After the next 2 weeks, I will never work with newborns again, but I am glad I had to do this rotation, because it has helped me conquer my fears about unstable patients. Now, in a sort of daisy-chain effect, I am helping another resident get used to the duties, and she will do the same with my replacement.

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