Clerkship Update: Neonatal Intenstive Care Unit

I recently completed my 2-week rotation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and it was a fantastic experience. The format of this rotation was such that medical students were integrated as part of the NICU team, attending sign-outs, rounding on patients, managing patients (physical exams etc), writing admission notes, progress notes and discharge summaries. We also took part in consults from the Obstetrics department and observed the resuscitation team who were prepped and ready for babies delivered by C-section.

What I enjoyed most: On this rotation, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with a a great team of staff physicians, residents, international medical students, nurses, nurse practitioners, nutrionists as well as various consultants. I very much enjoyed the teamwork! And of course,  I loved the patients (the babies) who were the real heros of the unit. I also really appreciated that we were assigned our own babies to manage and this afforded us plenty of autonomy and self-directed learning. On most days, we also had about 1 hour of teaching which was very beneficial.

What I struggled with most: Having to present my patients on rounds was quite intimidating some times but by the end of the 2-weeks, I felt much more confident, even if my management plans were sometimes off-track!

My take home message: The NICU was a fantastic experience and my favorite rotation so far. I am yet to do my core pediatrics rotation but I certainly enjoy working with the pediatric population. Since I also enjoy working with adult patients, I would currently rank pediatrics as a “medium” on a scale of low-medium-high, as a future potential specialty for me.

My current rotation is an elective in Pathology which has been very interesting and a different pace from clinical rotations. I will share my experiences on this in the coming weeks!

Hubby and I on a date. We went on a nice long walk up Mont Royal, had lunch at a new vegetarian restaurant and went to see Mission Impossible: Fallout. We had a blast!
We saw this piece of artwork on a park bench and thought it was quite unique (plus I had to take a picture of it for my daughter who loves giraffes!)


Mom Tip of the Day: Fridge Art

As a mum,  I appreciate the wealth of information from fellow parents, family, friends, books and the internet on how to handle the joys and challenges of parenthood. I decided I would like to add to the body of information from my own experiences and I hope these tips will be of use to you too.

Let’s start with the classic conundrum of how to keep your toddlers or preschoolers busy while you whip around the kitchen trying to prepare supper. One recent tactic I discovered is “Fridge Art”. It’s very simple. You use a magnet to attach some paper on the fridge and include a pen-holder for non-permanent markers at the child’s level so they can reach it. The paper can be previously painted on or decorated by your child to add some pizazz. The easily accessible paper on the fridge allows your child to practice their drawing skills and keeps them occupied while you work on supper. Any marker that accidentally gets on the fridge can be easily wiped clean, just like a whiteboard! For toddlers, I recommend putting on a bib or old painting shirt to protect clothes from marker stains. Keep extra sheets handy to replenish as needed. The finished art work on the fridge will be a point of pride for your child!

My 16-month old keeping busy with some Fridge Art
My 16-month old proudly looking at her Fridge Art
My 16-month old proudly looking at her Fridge Art
My almost 4-year old and 16-month old sharing their
My almost 4-year old and 16-month old sharing their “workspace” on the fridge.