How long has it been since I last wrote? Gosh, feels like it has been ages. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been quite busy lately – more like busily feeling tired! With work and pretty much turning my home upside down and inside out (which I will write more about another day), it is no wonder I usually end up plopping to sleep almost after dinner.
I was sent back to the labour room this week. If you have been an avid reader (:)!) of my blog, you would have known that I was in the O&G Department last June until September and had to work my share in the labour room to deliver babies. Not the moments I like to re-live or experience again. But this time round, my responsibility isn’t to deliver babies (yes!) but to resuscitate them. 😀 Much to my relief and glee. So I can now sit at the sidelines and watch the poor O&G house-officers do the work I had to do back in those months – although I’m probably the only one who fiercely detests the work there.
Just thought I would write tonight to perhaps share what our SCN rotation is like here at HKL (well, at least this is what it is like now, because the rotation program here changes like the tide). It’s a 7-week schedule loaded with different places to go each week (which also depends on the availability of the workforce – the house-officers, that is – at each cross section of time). We go through each stationed ward at random and does not necessarily follow the order written below.
Labour Room / Operating Theatre
Where most of the action happens, in terms of resuscitation – if they ever quite happen. Here’s where we receive our ‘patients’, from their mother’s wombs. We usually examine the babies whose mothers had some specific risks during their pregnancy and then based upon our protocol, we decide whether these babies would require intensive monitoring at our SCN ward.
Whenever a baby is born flat (no cry, limp, etc), that is where we need to be. More often than not, we try to do what we remember from our NRP course until the bigger hero arrives… our Medical Officer.
Also the places where we’re on-call to guard the night.
SCN / NICU (Special Care Nursery / Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)
THE headquarters. Quite literally. Where babies who require critical care are warded. Where the most expensive of equipments and medications are kept. Where you see mostly incubators (like the ones in the picture above) in the NICU with beeping ventilators and monitoring machines. Where the brains are – our consultants/specialists/medical officers are always here whenever we have questions or need help. Where the most fragile of lives stay to fight on for each breath in order to survive.
Here’s where we learn how to manage and care for babies in the early phases where it’s most important and critical. When each minute counts for the sake of these little ones’ lives.
Another place for on-call nights.
KK9 / KK8
For the babies who need long term care. Babies who have improved from the critical state but still need hospitalization are warded here. Some need a long long time to wean off their dependency on oxygen. Some need a long long time to achieve a satisfactory weight before going home – especially for those who were born very premature. It’s like a garden to grow these little seedlings into buds. Where we calculate milk to its exact ml, where we measure their weight down to its exact gram. Over weeks, one can visibly see the difference in the sizes when they grow. It’s nice to see.
KK8 is special because it’s where mothers can live in with their babies to care and feed them. Sometimes those who come in with jaundice are warded here for phototherapy.
Basically just wards where mothers who have just delivered stay and their babies are still under our care and supervision. Most of the time it’s just the treatment of jaundice where they need to be under phototherapy for quite some time and where we need to monitor their bilirubin levels.
That pretty much sums up the main places where we work when we enter into SCN work. Surprisingly I’ve actually enjoyed working in neonatal wards more than in general paeds. All the cute little babies… 🙂 It’s been quite fun so far.
2 more weeks until I complete Paediatrics… then it’s the last posting of housemanship!