I had such a great weekend of call on L&D. Once again, I left so I tired I had to call someone to keep myself awake on the way home, but wishing I could just be on L&D until residency is over. And pretty much forever after that.
How do I love L&D? Let me count the ways……..
1. New Dads on Postpartum wearing hospital footies, pushing their babies around in their little hospital cribs, up and down the halls, every so slowly, ever so carefully. Stopping every few feet to ever so delicately adjust a blankie, or a onesie, or little baby hat.
2. Nurse Grumpy’s baked goods. I’m going to have to find a new name for her, because she is showing signs of slowly, infinitesimally, warming up to me. Probably because every time I see her I run to the lounge to look for the brownies or cookies she invariably comes with, and then return to lavish her with praise for being the Goddess of All Things Baked she most assuredly is (she is also a d*mn good nurse, but I’m usually too full of baked amazingness to get to all that).
3. Compliments from the nurses. There have never been residents at the hospital where I was on call before we started there last year. So there has been quite a bit of confusion as to who we (residents) are, what we do, and where we fit in. And honestly, a fair bit of resistance, and occasionally, the kind of passive-aggressive hostility nurses (Yeah, I’m a nurse too, I know how it works) can specialize in. Part of the awesomeness of last weekend was seeing the change in this dynamic that has slowly evolved since we started. Little things, like getting paged to see patients before the attendings, having gloves on the table before a delivery without having to get them myself or remind anyone of my size, and most telling of all, stopping outside a patients room to slap on some hand sanitizer, and inadvertently overhearing the RN telling the patient who I was, how nice I am, how good of a doctor I am, and how lucky they are that I am the resident on to help take care of them. These are really great nurses, and I understand and agree with the fact that their respect and praise has to be earned with consistent hard work, a good attitude, willingness to be a team player, and excellent and competent patient care. An endorsement like this, from one of them, means more to me as far the kind of doctor I am becoming than any kind of off-the-chart CREOG scores. It’s (really) good to (finally) be part of the gang.
4. Random conversations overheard at the nurses station. They routinely kill me. I never know what I’m going to hear, from in-depth explanations on ‘Vagazziling’ to spirited debates about gun control. The latter of which yielded my personal favorite quote of the weekend from one of my favorite funny girls/nurses: “Fine, if there’s a Zombie Apocolypse, I guess I would use a gun. Actually, forget it, if a Zombie Apocolypse ever happens, I’m just going to let one bite me and get it over with.”
5. Dads at the bedside right after a delivery, with silent tears rolling down their faces, too choked up with emotion to do anything but stroke their wive’s sweaty foreheads and gaze adoringly at her while she cuddles their gooey new progeny to her bare chest.
6. The Ladies In Labor. I had such great patients (I always do, but these peeps were especially, awesome), the labors weren’t all easy and the dynamics weren’t all hearts and flowers, but we all worked hard to manage labors, keeping things moving along, alternately encouraging, cajoling, kidding, coaching and teaching, and the deliveries were all great. To the best of my ability, and from what I heard from my patients, everyone had the best experience possible. And the board was empty at the end of at least one of my shifts. Doesn’t get any better than that.
7. And then, I was in the nursery doing circumcisions and one of the Dads I had met, helping manage his wife’s labor, but missing the actual delivery as I was in the middle of two others, spotted me. I returned his wave happily, and went back to work. Then I heard one of the nurses call me, “NurseMD, someone is here asking for you by name.” “Ahhh, kind of busy here, I’ll come talk to them in a few minutes.” She came over a few seconds later and said, “They just wanted to give you these.”