My pediatrics rotation has been unlike the rest of my rotations so far. I thought that now that I’m finishing up my third-year, I would be an expert in balancing studying and my clinical experience. But as my professors like to say–kids are not little adults, and the pediatrics rotation is unlike any other rotation so far.
For one, you have to navigate the filter of the parents. Parents are very perceptive about their child’s illnesses, however, it is often difficult to translate their specific ailments. Asking children about what is causing them pain too is difficult to interpret. You have to work through the filter of what parents see. Additionally, there are a lot of parents who research ailments on the illness. And they find the worst case scenarios. One parent was told their child had an x-ray that may or may not be intussusception, and our team spent 3 days calming the parent’s concerns (ultimately the patient was constipated). Learning how to explain medical knowledge to parents is a skill on its own.
What I’ve taken away from the pediatrics rotation is to listen first. Parents have a lot of questions and concerns, and most of the time, they need to be consoled.