They say you learn something new every day. Well, when you are a newly graduated PA working in a pediatric ER during winter, that statement could not be more true. Some days its a huge revelation or very important piece of information that I write down in my little black book (full of cheat sheet type notes). Other stuff is more "street-smart" information. So here are some of the more "street smart" things I've learned in my first month:
1. Kids are resilient. Okay, in all fairness I already knew this one (my niece Lexie is one great example), but I guess I've just seen lots more proof of it.
2. There are some crazy disorders out there. Like crazy strange. But they are fascinating.
3. Febrile seizures are surprisingly common.
4. Asthma, oh asthma...we'll just leave it at that
5. Bulb suctions are wonderful little devices and every parent should be taught how to properly use one before going home with their baby
6. I really like procedures - give me an abscess to cut on and I'm a happy girl. Getting all that nastiness out is so gratifying (its sick, I know...)
7. Some consultants are great and helpful and so super nice, others....not so much...'nough said
8. There's a black market for amoxicillin. No joke. Who would've thought?
9. I can't remember a 4 number sequence - like the extension of the phone I'm carrying each day. Every time someone asks me for my extension or I have to type it into the computer, I have to pull the phone out and look at the little sticker on the back...its a little concerning to me
10. Having pharmacists in the ER who review your orders and discharge prescriptions is a fabulous thing. Especially when dealing with weight based drugs (i.e. every medication given to peds patients)
11. A little reassurance goes a long way. (True when dealing with patients and families and true for myself)
Beyond all these fantastic things, I've learned a ton of medicine. Honestly, when I graduated PA school, I would say pediatrics was one of my weakest subjects. It wasn't heavily covered in our didactic year and I only had 4 weeks in a pediatric office during clinicals. However, I knew I loved working with kids and was willing to learn. It keeps me on my toes every shift that's for sure!