Tuesday, May 04, 2004

flying babies

So I'm on call in the NICU, covering something like 25-35 babies overnight--the exact number is unclear, apparently some of the patients I'm taking care of were never signed out to me, so nurses are calling me for random med orders and lab tests and I'm all "who in the what now?" Not to mention that I keep getting paged to the delivery room for new babies that are being popped out, one after the other, and the whole Upstairs-Downstairs adventure is making me tired. A piece of advice: when you get called to the delivery room, run. Because next thing you know, you'll be strolling in and someone will be throwing a slick squidgy baby at you like, "here, catch!" and you didn't even get a chance to put on gloves yet to avoid the birth goo.

The question I've been getting asked a lot since I started in the NICU, not just by parents, but nurses, attendings, and fellows is, "Do you have kids?" Like after this delivery we just went to, which was vacuum-assist but otherwise uncomplicated and really quite adorable, mom and dad were crying tears of joy and all that sweet stuff. The NICU fellow asked me, "Do you have kids?" Usually I say something along the lines of, "I'm only 25!" or "How could I have time to have kids?" or "Yeah, I have kids, I have 25 sick kids to take care of on the 6th floor!" But I think what they're really getting at is that if I don't have kids, there are probably some things that I really just can't understand. And I think that they're probably right on that assessment.

Currently reading: The signout note for one of my patients, because parents want to speak with "the doctor" about when the baby is going for surgery, and not only do I not know what surgery she's talking about, I don't even know who the baby is.

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