Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Things heard, seen, and observed in Pediatric Medical Settings

I seriously think I work in one of the most entertaining settings - pediatric nursing. Yes, there are a lot of heart breaks, but I don't want to focus on those. You can't talk about pediatric nursing or medicine without bringing up the other half other equation - the parents! And while the kids provide plenty of entertainment themselves, the parents provide their own elements of entertainment... and frustrations! Here is a glimpse into a day in the life of pediatrics. Enjoy!:)

A patient's mom calls the office for home care advice after her child "done got bit" by their neighbor's pet skunk. Seriously - who keeps a pet skunk, and who on earth lets their kid play with one?? Mom wasn't sure if they skunk was up to date on the rabies shots, so should her child get them instead?

Another patient's mom calls in hysterics saying her child needs a kidney transplant "STAT!"  It is discovered that mom came to this conclusion as her daughter's urine was cloudy and odorous. No other complaints. Upon further investigation, it is discovered the child loves canned asparagus and ate an entire can prior to going to bed. It should also be noted that the patient is 4 years old. Mom was quite relieved to know her daughter should survive.

This same mom calls a few weeks later saying her other daughter, who is 4 months old, needs to be hospitalized for abdominal pain and diarrhea. It is quickly discovered that mom makes a habit of letting the four month suck on pieces of the food they get form the local chinese buffet, or any other type of "saucy" foods. Her thought process is that this early introduction to a variety of flavor will prevent a picky eater.

A dad brings his 3 year old daughter in for a sick visit. The complaint - her kitty cat wasn't feeling right. Come to find out, he thought she might have a urinary tract infection. I was used to kitty cat region being referred to as the "whoo ha ha" quite commonly... Kitty Cat was a new one!

A 17 year old female is dragged into the clinic by her furious mom, who has recently discovered her daughter is sexually active. Apparently, no form of birth control has been used. The interview/exam goes something like this.
Medical Staff: so how long have you been sexually active?
Patient: um.... well, maybe like, I don't know, um... like, around 6 months, I think. I don't really remember.
Medical Staff: what type of protection are you using
Patient: we don't really, since he isn't sleeping with anyone else right now

A discussion ensues one the many ways this is faulty thinking.

Medical Staff: When was your last period?
Patient: Um... like maybe 6 weeks ago
Medical Staff: ok, well, let's do a pregnancy test.
Patient: Oh I am not pregnant, cause see we have been (proceeds to tell us what her "BFF Jill" told her was a fool proof, yet unprotected, version of intercourse.)
Medical Staff: well, trust me when I tell you that does NOT work. How many times have you had sex since becoming sexually active?
Patient: I mean, not that much, not enough to be pregnant.
Medical Staff: it only takes once - how many times?
Patient: I don't know, really too many to count I guess.
Medical Staff: ok in the last month how many times would you guess?
Patient: Hmmm... every day.
Medical Staff: you have had sex every day for the past month?
Patient: well for the last 6 weeks... we were on Christmas break you know.
Medical Staff personal thoughts: well if you aren't pregnant, you are one lucky lady, or your boyfriend's "boys" don't know how to swim.

Ten minutes later, after a miraculously negative pregnancy test, we deliberate as to whether she needs to go see a fertility specialist, or if we should break the news to the boyfriend that his "boys" are sadly lacking. Amongst ourselves only - we didn't broach either idea with the patient or her family.:)

We all remember the good ol' H1N1 Influenza Pandemic, right? Here is a little glimpse at what medical offices were dealing with daily.

- Concerned parent calls in stating the family needs to be treated for that mexican flu thing... they had a mexican looking waiter at Ryan's Steakhouse.

- Grandmother calls in wanting her granddaughter tested for the "hiney" flu. I mean, I guess h1n1 could look like "hiney/hini," right?:)

- A mom informed us, in all seriousness, that in order to protect her kids she had quit buying "pig bacon", but she couldn't bring her self to buy that fake turkey bacon. Recently, it was getting so bad that she wasn't even going to let her kids eat their favorite ham and cheese sandwiches. Only peanut butter and jelly in their lunch boxes. It was tough, but you know "you do what you gotta do to protect your kids?" Yes ma'am you sure do.

- Another family was worried about their well being because they lived next to a pig farm. "You know, that  H1N1 flu grows on pigs and floats in the air."

On to other topics of humor.

- One family informed me their son had "done got the Malasia."
Come to find out, the patient was diagnosed with tracheomalacia.... you don't "done get it" you're "done born with it?" And don't worry, its not contagious, although they worried for some time about "catching it" and proceeded to wear masks for quite some time. During this same time, the family learned a new word: demise. They loved it! They used it all the time. Everything demised all the time. Their property law suit was always demising. Pretty sure, even the "Malasia" done got demised from time to time.

- A mom called wanting to know if we knew how to treat the "I Don't Know Virus" as she didn't feel the local ER knew what to do about her daughter's case of said virus. I told her I really hadn't heard of this virus, and proceeded to get the records from the diagnosing ER. As I thought, the child had adenovirus.:) I-Dont-KnowVirus and Ad-en-no-Virus do sound similar.

And now I would like to focus on names. People, please, there is soooo much in a name... Kids have enough stuff deal with in through in life, so don't make their names a struggle too. Start them off right, with a name that heads them off to success. If you do decide to get creative, don't be mad when your child's name is mispronounced, misspelled, and misunderstood time and time again...
For example:
- Le-ah, will probably be pronounced the way it looks/is spelled - Leah. Not Le-DASH-ah, as you had originally anticipated. For real - this is becoming an ever increasingly popular name.

-Chocolate Mattress will always sound like a bed made of candy cars, not Shock-o-lot Mat-reese (in a french accent.)

- Lemonjello and Orangello do in fact, sadly exist, outside the grocery isle.

- And how are we supposed to begin trying to pronounce Abcde. Again, an amazingly common name.

- IF you decide hyphens and/or apostrophes are required in the spelling of you child's name, please remember the correct position of the punctuation. Otherwise, the 5 different ways you spell your child's name every time you come in/call can get really stinking confusing.

- Giving your child an angelic sounding name such as "Neveah (heaven backwards), Serenity,  or A'blessing/Ablessin' (my favorite is when this name shares the middle name of "today"), etc... well, it usually backfires.

- Oh, and Marijuana and Margarita may sound pretty, but are never good ideas. Ever!

This is just a brief summary, and only scratches the surface.

I love my job!:)


  1. Wow! These are all hilarious! I can just imagine the conversations that go on when the patients (and their families) aren't around. Makes the job more interesting for sure!

  2. Oh my gosh - my jaw was dropped this entire post!! Ridiculousness! LOL

  3. Haha, what a great list! I love the not-pregnant girl... uh, everyday??

    And hiney flu--that was brilliant.

  4. I can agree that these are things you hear in ALL pediatric settings! I am a Peds nurse too and we have also had a patient by the name of le-a!