Adventures in Medicine

Medical School and Beyond!

Up for the Challenge

on March 7, 2016

When people not in the medical field find out I am currently doing a rotation in the Neonatal ICU their responses seem to something like ‘oh my that must be challenging.’  This has caused me to stop and think…what part of medical education (or even medicine in general) is not challenging?  Every case is a challenge in and of it self because without a physical examination, proper history, and possibly lab or test results it is a mystery.

Yes, it is true the patients in the NICU cannot tell us what is bothering them, they do not have a past medical history, but we can determine their prenatal history from mama. Yes, it can be challenging to see these little humans suffer and fight just to survive right after they enter this world.  However, is it not just as rewarding when you see a fighter make it be discharged from the NICU?

The NICU I am at is a level 2 which means that we cannot keep babies who need extreme interventions such as ventilators for they must be transferred to a level 3 NICU in downtown Augusta.  The babies I have worked with have been born to diabetic mothers and had low blood sugars after birth because their little pancreases were busy making lots of insulin due to mamas high sugar load or they were born up to 1 month early but thankfully mama was able to get steroids so the babies did not have breathing troubles.

My favorite moments in the NICU have been watching mommies and daddies bonding with their little bundles.  It’s both a joy and a blessing being able to educate these parents about their babies.  One dad was afraid to burp his son who was 1 month premature thinking he would break his back or ribs…but we informed him the little guys bones are more than ready.  One mom walked in and saw her baby attached to tubes and wires because of the monitors and the IV and started to cry.  We were able to be there to comfort her and tell her she can still hold her baby and the treatment he was getting was actually less than normally seen with a baby at the gestational age of her son.

In addition to working with the sick babies, I also get to work with healthy babies in the normal nursery.  Sometimes this includes watching circumcisions.  This was a procedure I first saw in my OB/GYN rotation as most obstetricians perform the circumcisions on their patients sons, however, the neonatologist I am working alongside also performs them.  Unfortunately, not all doctors use a local anesthetic during this procedure because they say it is quick and the baby will never remember it and instead just use sugar water to distract the infant.  This neonatologist disagrees and he is educating other people in the medical field about the importance of using an anesthetic in addition to the sugar water.  Yes they might not remember the pain but they are still a human and can still feel pain.  Besides who would want to hear a baby scream bloody murder, if the sugar water does not pacify him, if it is not necessary.

I have also learned a few tricks to quickly comfort a crying baby.

So if working in the NICU is a challenge am I up to the challenge?  Of course I am because these little challenges will make me a great doctor.



One response to “Up for the Challenge

  1. Medics' Inn says:

    Sounds like you’re really getting stuck in! Well done! 🙂

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Bek Moody


my journey in this world

finding joy in everything

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