The Newborn Nursery has GOT to be the happiest place in the hospital by far.
After having spent the past three weeks rotating through this service, I’m fully convinced that just about everyone here is relatively happier than anyone else in any other area of the hospital. Like, how can you beat the emotions that overwhelm you after bringing in life into this world? Now before I get ahead of myself, I don’t want to make a sweeping generalization and make it sound like it’s always a happy-go-lucky place; there are certainly scary moments that can occur here and not every family leaves the nursery with a happy ending. Not every delivery goes perfectly and some babies are born into difficult social situations or are born with complex medical conditions. Some may have to be sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and others may have to be sent to the main pediatrics wards for further evaluation and management. There may be times where the Department of Social Services has to step in to take custody of some babies. And while incredibly rare, there are some babies who unfortunately and tragically pass away before they are ever granted a decent shot at life.
With all of that said, the vast majority of the families who come to the nursery to meet their new additions to the family are ecstatic about it and I have been fortunate enough to witness quite a remarkable number of precious Kodak moments as I’ve rotated through this service. In addition to witnessing family members demonstrate their love and affection to their new relatives, I’ve spent the majority of my days here examining healthy new babies, congratulating families, calculating bilirubin levels, teaching parents how to safely care for their babies when they leave the hospital, admiring the resilience and strength of new mothers, ensuring follow-up care for the newborns after hospital discharge, and helping medical students rotating through this service orient to life in the nursery. Many of my patients are healthy babies who usually stay in the hospital anywhere between 1-4 days before being discharged. As I said before, if a baby has some sort of complication during delivery or becomes acutely ill while in the nursery, they are typically sent straight to either the NICU or the main pediatrics ward for further evaluation and management.
Positive energy is brought to the nursery not only by the families, but also by the providers who work here. Everyone here seems to just about always be in a great mood, which is really refreshing. Stress levels don’t seem to rise as high as they sometimes do in other places like the wards, where just about every kid there is sick with some sort of medical condition. I haven’t rotated through the intensive care units as a resident yet, but you and I both already know that those units can also get very stressful very quickly. I’ve been loving my time on this rotation, even though it took me a few days to get used to the unique structure of the nursery. It is very protocoled and there are templates for just about everything, so I had to fit my way into the system before I could start to feel comfortable working as a doctor here. After I started to get the hang of how things worked here, my workflow became almost seamless. Of course now that I’m pretty comfortable working here, my time in the nursery is coming to an end soon…I lowkey don’t wanna leave! 😭
But with growth comes change, so it is only right that I keep on moving to the next challenge. Starting next Tuesday, I will be working in the pediatric emergency department where as you can imagine, I’ll be subjected to a very different kind of workflow. I’ve heard pretty solid things about the ED experience though, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing what it has in store for me. My hours will also be a bit different; my daytime hours will be somewhat similar to what I’m working now (7AM-5PM), but I’ll also have night shifts at odd time frames (5PM-3AM) throughout my time in the ED. Oh and speaking of time frames, I just simply HAVE to touch how incredibly powerful an extra hour of sleep can be. BRUH. I’ve been feeling so good on this rotation now that I don’t have to be at work until 7 AM as opposed to the 6 AM start time I was adhering myself to in the two months prior to this rotation. Couple the 7 AM start time with the fact that I’m usually out of the hospital by 5 PM and BAM! You got a fully-functioning, pleasant, and energetic Dr. Dub who has some free time to go about doing other things outside of the hospital, including working on multiple projects on the side that I care deeply about. Now if only all of residency could feel this way…if only, if only. 😪
In regards to life outside of the newborn nursery, I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. The inpatient grind was starting to wear on me a bit, so it has been great to get a change of pace. Interview season for residency has started (I know, I can’t believe it either), and I’ve had plenty of time to meet and chat with applicants at interview dinners and during the interview days. In addition, I’ve recently made a commitment to myself that I would explore the Triangle area a lot more. So with that said, I’ve been stockpiling a running list with places to visit and things to do in this area that I’m going to try my best to take on!
I’ve also been able to continue appreciating the Grand Rounds lectures that we get here on a weekly basis, with my favorite one so far being a discussion about the power of learning and how to empower yourself by using a growth mindset. There was another Grand Rounds lecture given to us recently that talked about a novel method of cancer therapy that was quite scientific and granular, but I found it pretty interesting. If you care at all, it was about GPC3-CAR T cells and how they can be used in conjunction with interleukins in order to potentially treat solid tumors in an effective manner. I definitely nerded out while listening to the immunotherapies discussed in that lecture. 😅 Shoutout to my background as a Microbiology & Immunology major!
That’s all I have to share with you today! Thanks for reading and I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to catch up on my life! 😄
I hope that you have a phenomenal week!
“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” – Ashley Montagu
– Black Man, M.D. a.k.a. The Beloved “Dr. Dub”
P.S. – The Miami Hurricanes have NOT had the season that I was anticipating back in August. Oh well. At least we technically have a winning record this season and will get the chance to play in a bowl game. There’s always next year I guess…