Mar 13

Day in the Life: Pediatric Floor

Hello and welcome to another Medical Mondays! I have 4 weeks left of inpatient medicine before…(drumroll…) my vacation! (I’m so excited to see my friends and family again!)

I spent my last 4 weeks on the pediatric floor, and although I’ve done Pediatrics twice before during my med school rotations (once in 3rd year and once in 4th year), I never actually had a chance to do inpatient pediatrics until…well, this past month. Needless to say, there were a lot of things to get used to. Read on to see what it was like!

I used to volunteer in Therapeutic Recreation/Child Life at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in northern CA (fancy way for saying that I hung out with the kids, read them stories, played video games, and did arts + crafts with them <3 ), but aside from that and my mom’s “Take Your Daughter To Work Day” back when I was 7, I’ve never spent any time in a children’s hospital.

Day in the Life: Pediatric Floor

pediatric floor

6-7 a.m.

We received sign-out from the night team during this time. Sign-out was done on a first-come first serve basis and we’d have a one peds intern, 2 family med interns and 1-2 sub-I’s (4th year med students) on weekdays, so there generally wasn’t a chance that I’d get sign-out exactly at 6, so I’d work on another computer on starting my notes for the day.

7 a.m. – 8 a.m.

We’d use this time to round individually on our patients and start on our notes. On the peds floor, labs were only drawn 3 times a day to minimize the number of sticks (blood draws) our patients would get. If we needed to get labs at any other time in the day, we’d have to do it ourselves.

8 a.m. – 9 a.m.

We had either morning report (Mondays/Wednesdays), case conference (Tuesdays), grand rounds (Thursdays), or an intern lecture (Friday) during this hour!

pediatric floor
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

We’d use this time to round on our patients with the team as a group. As with the ICU, our team was pretty ginormous, with our attending, 2 senior residents, 3 interns, 1-2 sub-I’s, 2 3rd-year medical students, 1 pharmacy student, 1 advanced nurse practitioner, and 1 social work student. We’d have to warn our patient (+ their family) beforehand about the size of our team so they didn’t assume the worst and think that they had some kind of a terminal condition. ._.

We’d try to sneak away (when not discussing the patients we were following) to call consults somewhere in between and put in orders as necessary somewhere in between patients so that we could get things moving in a timely manner.

Managed to sneak in one intern hangout at the end of this rotation! :]

Managed to sneak in one intern hangout at the end of this rotation! :]

Somewhere between 12-3 p.m.

As above, somewhere in that time interval, we’d find a way to sneak to the cafeteria to grab food for lunch. It was generally super busy on the floor though, so we’d be scarfing down our meals in a couple minutes in front of our computers in the work room to get things done.

I had clinic on Thursday afternoons, so I’d have to finish my notes and try to get everything wrapped up with my patients before signing them out to the residents who’d be covering for me while I was gone. On one such Thursday, I was dealing with 2 discharges and one patient who was in intractable pain, all of which decided to happen starting at 11:30 (when I needed to leave at 12). Needless to say, something got lost in the mix.

More specifically, I forgot to write a note for one of my patients.

…Which isn’t the end of the world, but of course, the note I forgot to write was for the attending who’s infamous amongst pretty much everyone as the one attending that you do not want to annoy. He’s apparently sent med students home crying and has ripped interns to shreds (verbally) in the past. I was steeling myself for a potential slaughter the following morning, but miraculously, he just asked me if I’d written a note the previous day because I couldn’t find it, and when I confessed that I had neglected to and apologized, he just said, “That’s not cool,” and let it go.


This is pretty much how I felt.

1-6 p.m.

We’d use this time to follow up on anything else pending on our patients, call consults, talk to family members, write notes, update the sign-out sheets, put in orders, start writing discharge summaries, call our patients’ pediatricians to update them on the situation, call their schools/school nurses, nutritionists, and whoever the hecks else was needed to follow up on them after they left the hospital or went to rehab. This is also the time where we’d get new patient admissions so we’d go get a history on them and formulate a plan/put in orders for them too.

6-7 p.m.

Sign-out would start at 6 and was also on a first-come-first-serve basis, so I’d usually try to park myself in the resident room by 5 to start working on everything. We’d let each other go first depending on each other’s schedules though.

pediatric floor

I was playing around with an “artsy” filter, haha.

All in all, the people in pediatrics were really nice, but I did have some trouble in the beginning, mostly because I felt kindasorta thrown to the wolves in the sense that I never got any sort of an orientation and felt like I was just expected to know how everything worked despite never having been on the unit before (or on inpatient pediatrics in general). It improved with time, but I’m definitely not a fan of working 12 days straight for 12+ hours each day. I also felt somewhat isolated since I attended the peds lectures on Wednesday afternoons and barely ever saw anyone from my own program over the 4 weeks.

Weekends were the worst because we’d only have two interns to cover all the patients we had (~12-15 patients each, not counting all the weekend admissions). I wasn’t in the best of spirits (especially during the second week of each of these 12-day work weeks) and I thought I was doing horribly because I was too exhausted to do much of anything by the time I went home, but during one of the “Feedback Fridays,” my seniors told me that I was doing a great job and that they were impressed by my ability to “rise up to challenges,” so…hooray for that?

  • Ever narrowly missed getting verbally slaughtered by someone after making a dumb mistake? I’m still so very grateful. Maybe he saw the terror in my eyes, hahaha.
  • Have you ever gotten feedback that you were really surprised to hear?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.fairyburger.com/day-life-pediatric-floor/


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  1. Susie @ Suzlyfe

    LOL to the Keanu reference but OY to the mistake. I hate that. You already feel bad enough about the mistake. Gives me an anxiety attack just to think about it!
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Oven, Stove, Fridge, Freezer (Embryo Transfer Week in Review)My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Forreals. I was horrified when I realized that the next morning. ;_; I’m so glad he didn’t rip me to shreds!
      Farrah recently posted…16 Copycat Recipes To Try This WeekendMy Profile

  2. A.K.

    Yep, I actually received quite surprising feedback, as well as higher then expected grades in several research essays with topics ranging from Parkinsons to Rett’s Syndrome and even a lecture presentation for techniques and methods in Neuro .Every time it was a complete, total unexpected shock to see at least an A-, or better in each, even when if it was not always my best work.

    As for being verbally slaughtered, yep. Most folks usually have at least one or more incident of that sort in their life, been on both ends myself. It can be just plain weird at times.

    1. Farrah

      That’s great that you always managed to do better than you realized! We’re often our own worst critics.

      They’re never fun. I like to think I’ve only ever been on the receiving end of it since, given how I felt afterward, I’d like to never do that to anyone else.
      Farrah recently posted…16 Copycat Recipes To Try This WeekendMy Profile

  3. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    Yay for having a break soon! You deserve it 🙂
    You always rise up to the challenge! You may not feel it yourself, but everyone else KNOWS you are doing an amazing job with all of your work!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Rainbow Rockin’ French Toast (Gluten-Free, Allergy-Free, Vegan)My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thank you!! <3 Only 3 weeks left!! I can't wait! :D!

      hehehe, I'm glad they think so, because I'm pretty unfortunately talented at finding my own faults!
      Farrah recently posted…16 Copycat Recipes To Try This WeekendMy Profile

  4. Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    You are rocking all these challenges! I would be in a bad mood too! Hopefully your next stop is a better fit for you.
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Things I’m Loving Lately 31My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thanks, Julie! I’m back on my own inpatient service and the team I’m working with is awesome-sauce, so I’m definitely in better spirits! :]!
      Farrah recently posted…16 Copycat Recipes To Try This WeekendMy Profile

  5. Mary

    Only 4 weeks too vacation!!! These 28 days are going to fly by Farrah. Pediatric sound fun and super challenging/busy. I’m so happy that attending didn’t rip you to shreds for forgetting to write that note. That would have sucked.

    1. Farrah

      Almost thereeee!!! I’m really glad he didn’t kill me either, haha. I was mentally trying to prep myself for that!
      Farrah recently posted…16 Copycat Recipes To Try This WeekendMy Profile

  6. Kristy from Southern In Law

    Phew for getting past that mistake! You must have made a really good impression considering his reputation!

    And you are so right about having to warn patients about the size of your team! I would have thought I was dying if I saw so many people coming into my room, hahaha.
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: Gluten Free Garlic and Herb LoafMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I’m not sure what it was that decided to make him let it go, but whatever it was, I’m super thankful!!

      Forreals! One of my first patients when i started on the floor asked me if she was going to die after seeing our ginormous team and since then, I’ve basically been forewarning everyone. x_x
      Farrah recently posted…16 Copycat Recipes To Try This WeekendMy Profile

  7. ShootingStarsMag

    I’m glad you weren’t verbally slaughtered! I really don’t like people like that. I mean, mistakes happen – calm down a little. haha Sounds like a rough start, but that’s great you got some really awesome feedback. Go you!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Working It by Christine D’Abo + Guarding Mr. Fine by HelenKay DimonMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Same! It happened to me yesterday when I called someone for an update on their patient–it always makes me wonder why some people are just so bitter/angry/unpleasant to others all the time. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but when I come across people like that, I try to avoid if I can. (Sadly, it’s not always possible. :[ )
      Farrah recently posted…16 Copycat Recipes To Try This WeekendMy Profile

  8. Coco

    Sometimes the calm, cool but cutting feedback can be the worst! This doesn’t sound that bad though. It seems like this was an extra busy rotation.
    Coco recently posted…Gearing Up For The NYC HalfMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Forreals! I don’t want to jinx it in case I’m going to be working with him again in a couple weeks, but he was actually pretty pleasant during the week where I worked with him! I sincerely hope that continues!
      Farrah recently posted…16 Copycat Recipes To Try This WeekendMy Profile

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