On Call

As of last week, I am on the general pediatrics service doing an acting internship.  As a senior medical student, I get to practice being an intern in preparation for residency in a few months.  And with residency starting in less than 3 months, I need all the prep I can get.  While on the service, I admit patients, I develop their treatment plans, I follow their daily progress, I discharge them home.

Acting internship.  Where I act as an intern.

Nurse (to me, as I am checking in on a patient): Are you his intern for the day?

Me:  No!  I mean, yes!!  Well, not really…  (Sigh)

Nurse (unfazed):  Do you think we should get labs and change his  feeding regimen?  If so, I need orders.  What do you want to do?

Acting internship.  Where I intern as an actor.

Patient (sat in bed full of Lego):  And this is a brain.  See?  It’s ugly.  It goes on top of the bad guy like this and that gives him superpowers.  And then you can add more pieces and then he’s like a superbad bad guy.

Me: When I was your age, my Lego were a lot simpler.  I always used mine to build the floor plan of my dream house


Me: Well, if Super Bad Guy has a headache and his brains fall out, you can always page me to come STAT for a beside Lego consult.  

Patient: Ok

They say practice makes perfect.  But without those precious seconds when suddenly we have escaped the confines of hospital walls and we can see the child past his or her illness,  no amount of medical knowledge or physical exam skills will ever be truly meaningful.

Bring it on kids, I’m open for business.

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3 Responses to On Call

  1. Angela says:

    Reading this post makes me smile : ]). I’m currently taking classes to apply to medical school, but during my day hours I work in the medical setting (pediatrics, inpatient & outpatient) daily as a Child Life Therapist. I love the fact that you’re striving to get to know your little patients past the cold, clinical “medical model.” Funny enough, what you did there was a bit of Child Life / play therapy .. using the the child’s interests to discuss feelings and your medical role in a fun, non-threatening way … Awesome! .. Keep up the good work

    • dandelionontheloose says:

      Dear Angela – thank you for your sweet comments! What a wonderful job you have. I am always in awe of how Child Life therapists can really turn a child’s experience of the hospital around. As you can tell from my post, I really really believe in the power of play and the need for busy clinicians to slow down a bit and have FUN at work while caring for children. Best wishes with your classes and applications!!

      • Angela says:

        Thanks so much! ^_^ .. I have 2 classes left before apps. Can we say nervous? Here’s to thinking positively : ])

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