Reflecting on the Rotation

My pediatrics rotation had three components to it. I first started off at the emergency room. Since this rotation was during the winter months, I saw many children with viral infections including the influenza, Covid, RSV, and viral gastroenteritis. I also did many rapid strep tests as well as the cultures for backup. Some of the more interesting cases I have had included a teenager who had a varicocele as well as microlithiasis in his scrotum. Another patient had fevers on and off for four months. We had every differential we could think of, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. I really enjoyed my three weeks at the emergency room because I saw many different types of patients with a multitude of different types of presentations of common and uncommon pathologies.

Next, I was at the clinic for a week with different types of pediatric doctors including a neurologist, hematologist, and multiple primary care physicians. This week was a lot slower paced than the others, but it was a lot more methodical. I learned about vaccination schedules, height and weight curves, and different types of screening checklists for children. The hospital also gave us a folder with all that information as well as a flip book with newborn wellness checks, teenager screening guidelines and how to properly manage everyone in between. Many different conditions can come up if you aren’t looking for them, and being at the clinic showed me that. Having a thirty minute conversation with the family members along with an expanded physical really showed me what can be missed, especially with children and adolescence.

My last week was at the neonatal ICU. It was at first daunting to see these small little babies being hooked up to different lines and ports, but it was for the best of the neonate. The biggest challenge that a new baby has coming into this world was being able to breathe properly. Respiratory issues were very prevalent for the preterm baby. CPAP was used heavily all throughout the floor. I also got the experience seeing multiple C-sections in the OR, but from the side of the baby. Once the baby was delivered, we took them, cleaned them off and started our assessment of them. It was exhilarating to be a part of.

Overall, I really enjoyed my five weeks at my pediatrics rotation. Handling children is not like handling grown ups. Different methods needed to be utilized to get many different physical exams including a proper lung exam, heart exam, and even an ear exam (for all those acute otitis media cases). Those experiences are what I’ll take with me as I traverse through my other rotations.

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