Sunday, November 3, 2013

Two quick stories

I have to go to Mass in a few minutes, but I really wanted to squeak out a post.

Story #1

At the end of my pediatrics rotation, a patient came in with a "hurt arm." I examined her and though we needed an elbow radiograph to rule out fracture (although I told the doc I thought it was a soft tissue injury, since she had so point tenderness). She got an X-ray and came back after hours (I stayed!) and we read the film. I saw something we had just learned about in radiology lectures, and said "isn't that a posterior fat pad sign?" Brownie points for that!

As the doctor was explaining the diagnosis to the parents (supracondylar fracture) the mother began to pale and she actually fainted. We laid her down on the examination table and the MA got her some cherry pedialyte and goldfish when she woke up. Then we put a splint on her daughter and the three of them went home. So, that was a terribly told story but that's what happened!

Story #2

At the beginning of my OB/GYN rotation, I was working in the private practice of a local OB/GYN and one of her patients came in for "rule out labor" (i.e. she was having contractions and wanted to know if she should go to the hospital). The answer (after we hooked her up to a fetal cardiac monitor, looked at the strip, and examined her cervic was yes, you are four centimeters and go now. The physician called the hospital ahead of time.

A few patient visits later, the phone rang for the doctor and her eyes widened as she listened. She slammed the phone down after a quick "thank you," and said to me, "that patient's complete" (meaning, she's dilated to 10 centimeters and is ready to push). The doctor said to me, "you'd better leave now, because I'm going straight there after I finish this chart, and I'm going to fly."

I raced to the hospital through the molasses of midafternoon traffic and jumped into a pair of scrubs. I didn't have appropriate shoes, but I slipped boot covers over my pumps. I helped with the delivery (at one point only I and the L&D nurse were in the room as she pushed!) and delivered the placenta. My first delivery in high heels (and hopefully the last).

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