Tomorrow I will wrap up the outpatient portion of my pediatrics rotation. I have two more weeks of the pediatrics rotation. I'll be in pediatric E.R. next week, partly at the children's hospital and partly at a general university hospital, where pediatric cases still end up. I'm not especially apprehensive because, unless there's some sort of catastrophic event such as a major earthquake or collapse of a bridge or both, in which case sometimes even such employees as custodians and receptionists function as medical personnel by necessity, I won't be expected to manage anything especially grave by myself. I may have the opportunity to stitch, staple, or glue boo boos, and now that I've done it before, I may be asked to remove foreign objects from noses or ears. If inserting IVs is necessary, that, too, is something I can do with ease. We're only rarely expected to draw blood -- usually in cases in which a child's veins are so tiny that a phlebotomist cannot find a vein -- but it's usually a registered nurse who takes over in such instances. Because I'm relatively skilled, I could be called into service should it be necessary. It's easier to draw blood than it is to insert an IV, anyway, and it's less painful to the patient.
I will then finish up my pediatric rotation with a week of pediatric oncology and hematology. I cannot say that it is something to which I'm looking forward. I won't complain if my dad decides to be here next week. I won't mind having him with me the first time I have to work on the pediatric oncology floor. (It's interesting that I don't mind having my dad around the hospital, but Matthew doesn't want him anywhere near when he's working and would prefer not to acknowledge that he's even related to my dad except that the physical resemblance is so strong that a denial would be an obvious lie.)We supposedly spend as more time interacting with and entertaining the pediatric oncology patients as we do performing procedures on them. We do assess them, and we observe a fair number of procedures. The idea is that these babies have been through so much already in their short lives without inflicting upon them the added burden of being turned into medical students' crash-test dummies. It's the only humane way of handling the situation. Still, the prospect makes me very nervous.
The outpatient portion of pediatrics has been my favorite sub=rotation of my thus far short clerkship. That doesn't mean I'm seriously looking at pursuing pediatrics as a specialty. i'm not. It just means I've worked with people who are nice and fun. Because my Step 1 score on the USMLE was almost insanely high, I could probably choose almost anything as my subinternship yet not be adversely affected in terms of obtaining a desired match for my internship and residency. Applying for a pediatrics sub-internship is not out of the question. Then again, perhaps i'll like the next specialty even more.