Last night was my final NICU call. Possibly ever, unless I get called in for sick call in the Spring, which I obviously hope to avoid. It's a little sad, because really, I don't mind working in the NICU. In fact, I'd take the NICU over plenty of other rotations--the ER, for instance, which I truly abhor. (Sorry, ER cowboys and cowgirls, but I really do hate it. Though it's probably more true that I just hate the ER at our hospital, not the field of Emergency Medicine itself, but regardless of the reason...HATE. The ER.) I was thinking over today why it was that I found the NICU so palatable when so many others hate their time there, and I decided that a lot of it was that the NICU babies are the least difficult patients of all to deal with. I don't mean that they're not medically difficult, because obviously they are, it's an ICU after all--but I just mean they're easy to handle. For instance:
- NICU patients rarely smell bad.
- NICU patients rarely cry and scream and fuss and make a scene. It's the quietest room of 60 babies you'll ever see.
- NICU patients will almost never knee you in the groin or kick you in the gut. Need to draw blood or do a test on a NICU patient? You don't need to call in three nurses and your burliest med student to hold the kid down. One other hand is all you need to keep that kid from moving around.
- Hate it when patients talk back, refuse their meds, or are generally non-compliant? The NICU is the place for you!
I guess the above really just makes it seem like I'm this bossy wench who just wants my patients to do exactly what I want them to do. And who knows, maybe it's true. After all, I have ultimately chosen to go into a field of medicine where most of my patients are going to be rendered unconscious. And in which I'll be doing the rendering. Want to complain about your medical care and how all your doctors and nurses are idiots? Here's a little propofol--how do you like me now?I got home post-call and took a very, very long nap, from about 1pm to 6pm. Which means that my sleep schedule tonight is going to be all screwed up. One of these days, I should just start setting my alarm clock post-call, to prevent me from doing just that. But the indulgence of the inregulated post-call nap is a luxury that I'm not ready to give up just yet. Plenty of time for sleepless nights to come.
Currently watching: "King of the Hill." I don't watch "The Simpsons" anymore--despite my frequent quoting from the classic era of the show, I think it started to run out of steam around the time that I was in college--but I still love "King of the Hill."